Friday, 30 November 2012

Boiled Brisket of Beef with Roast Potatoes and Trimmed Green Beans

Brisket of beef, roast potatoes and trimmed green beans

Boiled beef does not immediately sound particularly appetising. There is perhaps an automatic perception that the beef will be bland in taste and probably dry in texture. This definitely need not be the case, however, provided the right cut of beef is selected and it is cooked appropriately. Brisket is a great piece of beef to boil and in this instance was not only delicious to eat, but perfectly moist and tender. I chose not to serve gravy with the beef on this occasion (almost a crime in the eyes of many people - I know!) and gravy could of course be included if you wish but instead I served it with a fairly recent discovery for me, Beetroot, Apple and Horseradish Chutney. See the bottom of this post for more details on this ultra tasty creation.

Ingredients (Serves 2 to 4)

2lb piece of beef brisket
1 medium white onion
2 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme or 4 fresh sprigs
Baby new potatoes as required
Green beans as required
Beetroot, apple and horseradish chutney

Rolled brisket of beef


Put the beef in to a large soup or stock pot. Wash the carrots and celery, top and tail and roughly chop. Peel and quarter the onion. Add the vegetables to the pot along with the seasonings and pour in enough cold water to ensure the beef is comfortably covered (approximately 5 or 6 pints).

Vegetables for poaching with beef brisket

Prepared vegetables for poaching with beef brisket

Put the pot on a high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat to achieve the gentlest possible simmer, cover and leave to cook in this way for two and a half to three hours, until the beef is tender.

Beef brisket, vegetables and seasonings are added to a large stock pot

Wash but don't peel the potatoes. Add them to a pot of cold salted water, bring it to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and let them steam for around five minutes to get rid of the excess moisture. Cover and leave to cool completely.

Green beans are trimmed before being blanched

When the beef is cooked, carefully remove it from the liquid with a carving fork and large slotted spoon or spatula to a plate. Cover it and leave it to rest and cool for at least twenty minutes.

Peel the skins from the potatoes by hand. They should be roasted in hot oil for about five or six minutes until crisp and golden. It may well be that you have bought your beans already trimmed but if not, trim the ends and blanche them in boiling salted water for five minutes.

Boiled and cooled potatoes are peeled for roasting

When you come to carve the beef, don't try to cut it too thinly or you are likely to see it break down and essentially crumble. Cut nice thick slices and arrange on the serving plates.

Brisket of beef is carefully carved

Drain the potatoes on kitchen paper, the beans through a colander and plate with the beef. Finish off with the Beetroot, Apple and Horseradish chutney.

Beef brisket is plated with roast potatoes and green beans

I found this chutney in my local supermarket when looking for something totally different. If you can't find it in yours, it is currently available on both Amazon and Amazon UK. I hope you get the chance to give it a try.

Beetroot, apple and horseradish chutney