Slow-roasted Beef Brisket with Potatoes and Onions

Main Courses —

Brisket’s open-grained texture, generous fattiness and deep flavour make it perfect for slow roasting, as well as boiling. Ask your butcher for the thick end of the brisket, boned and rolled, and make sure he doesn’t trim off the fat.


Serves six to eight people


  • 2kg piece boned, rolled beef brisket (fresh, not salted)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, bruised
  • Good handful of thyme sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1.25kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • About 400g baby onions or shallots, outer skins removed

Optional Extras

  • Baby broad beans and/or garden peas, podded and blanched for 2 minutes


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the brisket in a large roasting dish. Tuck the garlic and thyme inside and under it. Pour over two to three tablespoons of olive oil and massage into the meat, then season well.

Put the meat in the oven for 20-30 minutes, then remove it. Turn down the oven to 130C/250F/gas mark 1/2 , cover the meat with foil and return to the oven for four hours.

After this time, the beef should be very tender. Baste it with its juices, add the potatoes and onions, and toss them in the fat, then turn up the heat to 170C/325F/gas mark 3 and cook, uncovered, for a further hour.

Serve the beef in thick slices, with the potatoes, onions and a little of the rich cooking juices.

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