I first had Salt Beef in Smiths of Smithfield (
and have been in love with it ever since. Imagine a beef that crumbles to the
touch, yet is moist and so full of flavour your taste buds will melt into
oblivion. Got that image? Good, because you’re somewhere near what this is like.
As it happens I’ve only ever had Salt beef in
If ever you’re in Borough Market, there is stall that sells hot beef baps. Slabs
of beef with layers of Pickles and English Mustard … hmmm heaven. It’s from
that stall that I took my inspiration for this. London and
Salt beef has become fashionable of late, as it takes a cheaper cut of meat and turns it into something divine, think of it as pulled pork but with beef. I believe (could be wrong) that this comes from the States.
So the prep time is a week is it, surely you’re having a laugh? No and if I’m honest that’s what’s been stopping me from making it before, the amount of planning etc ..., finding a box big enough to keep it in and convincing the other half, that sacrificing half the fridge for a week is worth it. I think, now we’ve eaten it, she will agree.
The brining part of the recipe came from Diana Henry in the Daily Telegraph, the rest of the recipe is my own
Ingredients and Equipment
You will need a massive container, bowl or similar receptacle to hold the meat and all of the liquid. I opted for one of these lads from Sainsburys
You’ll also need a suitably sized sauce pan with lid to simmer the beef
275g (9¾oz) soft light-brown sugar
350g (12oz) coarse sea salt
2 tsp black peppercorns
½ tbsp juniper berries
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
2.5 Kg of Brisket
2 Carrots cut into chunks
1 onion peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 Sprigs of thyme
Put all the ingredients for the brine into a very large saucepan, pour in 2.5 litres (4½ pints) of water and gradually bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar and salt dissolve. Once it comes to the boil, let it bubble away for two minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
Usually brisket comes pre-rolled I found it easier to untie the meat and lay it flat in the container
Pierce the meat all over with a skewer or as in my case a knife. Put it in your large container (something non-reactive) and cover the meat with the brine; it must be totally immersed. I put two small side plates on top to hold it down. Cover and leave in the fridge for 7 days
After a week remove the meat and discard the brine. Rinse the meat thoroughly under a cold tap and then pat dry with a paper towel.
Re-Tie the beef, you may need two people for this
Place the beef along with all the other ingredients in a large pan and then cover with cold water.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours. Make sure it’s a very low simmer
By the end you should be able to push a skewer into the beef with little resistance.
You could serve hot with Mash and gravy, on this occasions I went for
Using thick sliced wholemeal bread, layer on Mayo, English mustard, sliced pickles, the beef,
Emmental cheese and rocket.
Then chomp down, gorgeous