I see lots of pieces of beef in the shops on special offer. Pieces like brisket or silverside or housekeepers cut, they look like fine pieces of beef, but people often make the mistake of roasting them as if they were rib or striploin of beef.
These pieces take longer to cook so are best for pot roast or braising and when given long slow cooking can be very delicious, serve them with nice red cabbage and roasted vegetables and some creamy mashed potato, they make for a very fine family meal.
When you do a pot roast you can get it ready from the evening before, place it in the fridge and cook it the next day, just allow a bit more time because it will be cold from the fridge.
Pot Roasted Beef
3lb/1.35kg piece of housekeepers cut, brisket or silverside
1tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped into big chunks
1 onion, chopped into big chunks
1 stick of Celery, chopped into big chunks
1 clove garlic
1tbsp tomato puree
10fl oz/ 280ml red wine
10fl oz/ 280ml water
Salt & pepper
Take a large frying pan and place on the heat, add in the butter and olive oil, let it get nice and hot, then fry the piece of beef on all sides until nicely browned and sealed all over, then place the beef in a large casserole or saucepan suitable for the oven. If you don’t have an oven well you can still cook it on top on a ring.
Place all the vegetables in the pan and fry for a few minutes then place on top of the beef, stir in the flour into the pan and with a wooden spoon make a roux from all the bits in the pan, add the tomato puree followed by the wine and water if it will all fit in the pan, ( if it does not well you can just pour the remaining water into the casserole).
Give a stir, season with salt & pepper and pour over the beef and vegetables in the casserole, add in the bouquet garni, place in a hot oven 170°. Cover with a lid or tinfoil and cook for about 2 to 3 hours, if the liquid starts to disappear add in some more water or wine if you like.
You can turn down the oven to 150° for the last hour. The oven is the best place to cook this because it won’t burn as you have an even heat all around the casserole. This recipe works very well if you happen to have a piece of venison or even a pair of pheasants, just leave the birds whole and proceed as above.
Roasted Root Vegetables
Head celery, cut into 3” pieces
4 small whole carrots
2 Parsnips, cut into half lengthways and cut into 2 or 3 chunky pieces
1 small Turnip, cut into 1” cubes
3 Red Onions, peeled but leave the root on and cut into halves
4 Rooster Potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
4 tbsp olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
2tbsp chopped fresh herbs, rosemary, sage, thyme and 2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
Place all the prepared and washed vegetables in a large bowl, add in the herbs, garlic, olive oil and season with salt & pepper, you can do this overnight if you wish. Preheat the oven to a high setting 220°, place the vegetables on a large tray, place in the oven and cook for about 40 – 45 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked, turn down the oven if the veg is getting too charred.
1lb/450g red cabbage shredded
1 medium onion
2tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
llb/225g cooking apple, peeled & chopped
Tsp ground cloves
Tsp ground nutmeg
Tsp ground cinnamon
4oz/112g Brown Sugar
Salt & pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, fry off the chopped onion then stir in the crushed garlic, add all the other ingredients and season with salt & pepper, cook on a high heat until everything comes up to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the cabbage is cooked, about 30 minutes. You can do enough for a couple of days, just reheat, it’s a bit like a beef stew tastes nicer the second day.