Saturday 4th July 2020
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Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 hours

1 500g cut of brisket
1 onion – peeled and sliced end to end into wedges
2 sticks of celery
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
100ml whisky
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 litre good quality vegetable stock

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Recipe by Dominic Franks, Belleau Kitchen

The thing about this summer is that quite frankly it’s been a bit of a wash-out. We can cope because we’re British and we’re used to it and we know how to keep calm and carry on but this insistent overcast quality to the summer can put the chills on many things, particularly alfresco dining – admit it, we’ve all been there, standing over the barbecue with the golf umbrella as our guests shiver in the conservatory.

So this summer I say forget all that and do your cooking inside. Of course, you can feel free to dine in the great outdoors but I’d suggest you do the actual hot stuff inside. And as you’ll see from the recipe, I’m also suggesting you dig out a firm winter favourite, the slow-cooker, so that you can sit back and watch the rain with guests whilst your food cooks!

The whisky and honey work tremendously well together and the slow-cooking leaves you with a gloriously tender piece of beef that falls apart and melts in your mouth. I had to find some equally beautiful bread to eat with it, so I visited our local baker who’d just hand-made these adorable sun-dried tomato rolls but of course something like a brioche bun or even a very basic baguette would work just as well. A little dash of thick balsamic vinegar was the perfect final addition.

I’m using my slow-cooker for this dish but the whole thing can be easily done in a casserole dish covered tightly with some foil and then with a tight-fitting lid in a low oven – roughly 100C for the same time.

Place the veg and fennel seeds into the bottom of your slow-cooker, lay the beef going on top and then pour the whisky, honey and stock over the beef. The liquid should come just over the top of the beef and slow-cook on low for 6 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and then once cooked, remove the beef and set aside. Spoon out the onions with a slotted spoon and lay them into an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes whilst you prepare your sandwiches.

Cut the bread rolls in half and fill with mixed salad leaves, pull the beef apart with a fork and lay into the bread rolls, then add the caramelised onions and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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