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December 2014 Archives

cooking simmered beef & carrots

December 29, 2014

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When there’s beef about, is it just me or do you too immediately think ROAST?

Well I couldn’t face roasting more meat, not after Christmas. I’m usually all over leftovers, but the thought of slathering another hunk of animal in rosemary and oil and hoisting it into the oven —, nah, it made me have visions of Henry VIII.

And now while this is a meat recipe, it’s in a slightly more curative guise than the Christmas fayre.

By slowly simmering beef with stock vegetables - chunky carrots, onions, bay and pickling spice, you get a gentle but full flavoured broth, tender lean slices of beef, and vibrant vegetables. It feels restorative rather than rich, especially if you add a smattering of parsley. I was going to call it a detox stew, but then remembered I’m not that much of a twat. Anyway, I hope you’ll agree, it’s perf for January…

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Simmered Beef & Carrots (serves 8)

1 rolled beef brisket

(veg for simmering)

5 carrots

2 onions

4 celery sticks

2 bay leafs

1 tbsp pickling spice

a pint of fresh stock (I used the stock from the Christmas bird carcass)

(fresh veg for finishing)

a handful of peeled shallots

peeled whole carrots

baby potatoes (if you want it more substantial)

a handful of green beans

parsley if you have it

Make it:

Put the beef in a pan and add enough cold water to cover it

Bring it to the boil, and skim any scum off the surface with a ladle

Add the ‘simmering’ ingredients, a lid and simmer for at least 3/4 hours

Set the meat aside, strain the liquid through a fine sieve and chuck the veg away (it’ll be stripped of all flavour)

Put the clear liquid back in the pan with your stock and fresh vegetables. Simmer again until the vegetables have cooked, then add the green beans at the end. Now add the salt and pepper (not earlier as it toughens the meat)

Serve sliced with parsley. None in this pic, but there is snow!