Once again we have teamed up with the brilliant Claire Thomson (you may know her from her Instagram alias, 5 O'Clock Apron).
We have been fans of Claire's for years; all of her cookbooks are a mainstay on our farm kitchen shelves. From Claire's simple and delicious weekday recipes, to her wonderful recipe videos (find these on Claire's instagram page) with all the family, getting us through lockdown with inspiration and laughter! Claire makes cooking for kids easy, and a downright breeze for exhausted, yet hungry adults.
1.5/2kg Grass Fed Flat Beef Brisket, in one piece
50ml Olive Oil
50g of Streaky Bacon Lardons
2 sprigs of sage, thyme or rosemary
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml Dry Red Wine
600g tomato passata
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt & black pepper, to taste
Mashed potato, to serve
Cooked greens, to serve
Gremolata: 1 small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, mixed together with 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped and the zest of 1 lemon, to serve
You might need to cut the meat into 2 or 3 pieces if you struggle to fit into a pan in one piece, but cook it as a single piece if you can.
Preheat the oven to 120°C-140°C and season the brisket all over with salt and pepper. Heat a large saucepan that will fit all the brisket in one go. Add the oil and then the beef fat side down and brown over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned, then flip over and brown the other side for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the brisket to a large plate or platter and add the pancetta to the saucepan, cooking for about 5 minutes until just beginning to crips up and colour. Add all the chopped veg and the herbs and cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until very soft and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to scrape up any bits that stick to the base of the pan.
Add tomato puree and cook out for a minute or so, then add the wine and cook until completely evaporated, stirring often. Add tomato passata and bring to a simmer, seasoning well to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Pop the brisket back in the pan on top of the cooked down tomatoes and vegetables, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 4 - 5 hours until very tender but not falling apart, An ideal internal temperature is 90°C-95°C if you have a digital thermometer. The sauce should be dense and quite shiny with all the fat from the beef, and also the oil, skim off any excess, and season to taste.
Turn off the heat and allow the meat to rest in the sauce for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve the meat with a little of the sauce (keeping the majority back for pasta sauce the next day) and some mashed potato, spring greens or cabbage and gremolata.