I’m a great fan of cooking with alcohol. A glass of wine in my hand, another for the pot is good. Usually I use wine, but on this occasion I used beer, a dark beer called Hobgoblin (don’t you just love the names of some of the Ales produced in England!).
The recipe was another of my beloved slow cooked dishes, a pot roast this time, and it’s a perfect all in one dish that just needs some boiled potatoes or creamy mash to soak up all those delicious juices. Any leftovers make a perfect topping for pasta.
The steam in the photos must be the Hobgoblin escaping from the finished dish….
Ingredients (to serve 6 people)
- 2 onions peeled and cut into quarters
- 8 small carrots peeled and cut into large wedges
- 3 celery sticks cut into pieces about the same size as the carrots
- 2 leeks, cut into large chunks (or substitute any of your favourite root vegetables)
- A piece of brisket, about 1.5kg
- About 300ml of dark beer (don’t use Guinness though, it will be too bitter in the final dish)
- About 100ml of beef stock
- A little olive oil and flour
Dust the joint of meat with flour and in a deep frying pan with a little oil, brown the meat all over. Season the joint, remove and put into the cooking pot or slow cooker. Add the vegetables to the frying pan and cook until the onion starts to turn brown at the edges, then put them into the slow cooker (or oven dish if you are cooking in a conventional oven).
Pour the beer and stock into the frying pan and scrape up the juices from the beef. Sprinkle in a level tablespoon of flour and stir as you heat the liquid. It will start to thicken slightly. Bring the liquid to a boil and pour over the meat.
Cook in the slow cooker for an hour on high and then for about a further 7 hours on low until the meat is really tender. In a conventional oven it will need about 4 hours on low. You will need to turn the meat over 2 or 3 times during the cooking period as it will not be covered entirely by the liquid in the pot.
When it is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables from the sauce. If the sauce looks too thin, put it into a pan and either fast boil it to reduce or make a beurre manié . It’s made with equal parts of butter and flour mixed together and stirred into the hot liquid – about a tablespoon of each for this dish. Add it to the liquid and cook until thickened. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary, pour over the meat and vegetables and enjoy.