Beef pot roast

Quality meat doesn’t need to be expensive. If you want fillet steak you’re going to have to raid the savings account. But there’s more taste in the cheaper cuts from the same animal. And we British have a long history of making delicious dishes using slow cooking techniques.

Today’s recipe uses silverside which is a tougher cut of meat from near the back of a cow. You could equally use brisket but whichever, this is so easy that, if it goes wrong, you’ve really got to blame yourself and nobody else.

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Serves four to six people

1kg joint of silverside
A little oil for frying
Three or four carrots – cut into chunks
Three or four sticks of celery – cut into chunks
Six shallots – peeled or three onions – peeled and quartered
A couple of small turnips or a small swede – peeled and cut into chunks
A handful of mushrooms – cut into chunks
1/2 litre of beef stock – or maybe a bottle of beer
A sprig of thyme and a bay leaf
A tablespoon each of butter and plain flour worked together
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 140C, gas mark 1

Using a big oven-proof pan of caserole pot that can go on the hob, heat a little oil and then sear the joint on all sides. Remove from the pot and add the carrots, celery, turnip or swede and the shallots or onions. Keep the heat reasongably high and allow the vegetables to brown a little here and there, giving them a stir and turn every now and then. Remove them too and then return the meat to the pot, add the browned vegetables along with the mushrooms, herbs and liquid and bring to a simmer while adding a little salt and pepper. Once simmering, place in the oven for around three hours.

When cooked, remove the meat and vegetables to a warmed serving plate and return the pot to the heat. Bring to a boil and whisk in the flour and butter and boil for a few minutes until the flour is cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Serve the sauce or gravy in a jug along with some horseradish and English mustard and mashed potatoes. 

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