It’s onto the penultimate item from my Riverford meat box, and what better for the weekend than an old school roasting joint. Only this joint was brisket – and I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely tasted brisket, let alone cooked it. It’s a rather cheap cut from below the beef shoulder, and from my internet research it seems to be something Jewish grandmothers know how to cook!
On top of this brisket, I also had an unending supply of ale in the fridge. In my band playing days of yore (this was about two months ago before I left said band), we played one gig where the rider was just a fridge full of Bishops Finger and Hobgoblin. I came home with a box full of ales, not really knowing what to do with it, except that it would be put to good use one day if even in an ale pie.
So I tried a recipe for brisket roast poached in ale. First I marinated the 1.5kg brisket in a bottle of Bishops Finger overnight…
… and the next day I drained the joint, reserving the ale for the poaching liquid.
I browned the brisket joint on all sides, put it aside and used the juices left in the pan to cook up the poaching liquid for the pot. I fried two chopped shallots and garlic, then added about 400ml of the ale, bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, it foams and froths like a weird potion. To this I added a few bay leaves, 2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp sugar and seasoning. The stock was poured over the joint in a lidded casserole dish and put in an oven at 180C for 45 minutes.
To accompany the brisket, I made some parsnip chips. I chopped up about eight parsnips as thin as I could, and tossed them in honey, wholegrain mustard and olive oil. After the brisket had been in the oven for 45 minutes, I added the parsnip tray to the oven. At this point I also added a couple of chopped carrots and leeks to the pot roast, though it threatened to overflow – I really do need a bigger casserole pot!
After 1 hour 45 minutes roasting time I took the brisket out, left it to rest and used the remaining liquid to make a gravy.
The result? A very tasty alternative to your traditional beef topside etc., especially if you get some of the gelatinous tendons. However brisket does have a tendency towards toughness, so I wish I had cooked mine at a lower temperature, and slower.
I have lots of leftovers and apparently there are some great ways of using up brisket, so look out for more brisket-related recipes!
An organic brisket joint from Riverford costs £10.45 and will serve 6.