Slow Cooker Brisket
I’ve thought about trying out vegetarianism a few times; in fact, I once gave up meat for lent. I lasted about twenty days until I accidentally ate a shepherd’s pie that was put in front of me. I am not exaggerating. It was upon my last mouthful that I realised what I was doing and how I had just ruined my lent challenge. I am a meat eater and can’t really help it. This recipe is just one of those reasons why as well. The photos don’t do it justice on this occasion. Sunday’s, especially at the start of Autumn, demand a roast dinner. That’s one of the things I love about this time of year – there’s something magical about going for a Sunday morning walk, seeing the new colours that we all remember from childhood, having the wind blow the cobwebs from your tired eyes and the cooler wind freshen your soul. Returning home and having that roast dinner aroma fill your nostrils is heavenly. Of course, it is not just the meat that seals the anticipation, but it is definitely the main show.
Rolled Brisket is generally one of the cheaper cuts of cow meat. I bought this one for £5.03 from Lidl. You can obviously buy them at your local butchers, which I do often, and other supermarkets. The prices vary but generally they are cheap cuts wherever you go. Cheap sounds great,yeah? In my book it definitely does. I used to buy the most expensive bits of meat for my cooking, but since becoming a parent and looking after the pennies and pounds a little bit better, cuts like brisket are perfect. If not cooked correctly, this incredible bit of meat will become tough. Cooked low and slow, this meat is absolutely mouth watering.
Cooking it low and slow is the basis of any good brisket. Generally, a brisket is going to need at least 3-4 hours in a slow cooker in order to make it nice and tender. Trying to rush this cut of meat is a major no no! Trust me, I’ve tried and failed and it’s just not worth the disappointment. You can’t just chuck it in the slow cooker without taking care of the cut just a little bit either. Don’t worry though, it’s not a complicated process, and you definitely don’t need much skill. Simply put, all you need to do is brown off your meat in a frying pan (the darker you get it the better) as this will seal in the juices and also colour and flavour the gravy that you will make as you’re cooking. The other task is imparting as much flavour as you can with vegetables, herbs, stocks, and spices. For this recipe I’ve made it simple – some salt and pepper, stock, chunky carrots and some roughly chopped carrots. That’s it!! I cooked mine for a bit longer on the lowest temperature on my slow cooker – 8 hours. It was deliciously soft and tender by the time it was ready. The effort was minimal and the satisfaction was maximum.
The best part about – there is always leftovers that you can use the day after for a nice stir fry or stunningly sumptuous beef brisket sandwich or wrap. The other bonus, other than my own satisfaction, is that my kids and family love it and always think you’re some amazing cook that has slaved away in the kitchen carefully looking after your roast, when in fact it is far from it. Sit back, relax, go for a Sunday stroll and come back to a awesome Sunday lunch.
4 Shallots or 1-2 Onions
500ml of beef Stock ( I use an Oxo cube dissolved in hot water)
1 Tbsp Cornflour
- Unpack your meat and season by rubbing salt and pepper into the brisket. Roughly chop the onions and carrots and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. The slow cooker needs to be on the low setting for 7-8 hours or the high for 3-4 hours. Also, make the stock with 500 ml of hot water and a stock cube. Add any spices or herbs you like. I usually add some garlic and bay leaves (at least 2). Add the a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken the gravy throughout the cooking period.
- Sear the brisket in a hot frying pan. Do not add any oil to the pan. Sear all sides of the meat until it’s nice and dark brown. Don’t worry if parts of the meat catch and look too dark. This will add more flavour and give a lovely colour to your gravy.
- Add the meat to the slow cooker for the your chosen time. When ready get the meat out and rest for at least 15-20 minutes. This will help the meat relax and will be all the better for it.
- Remove the carrots and blend the liquid in the slow cooker to make a gravy. You can move liquid into a saucepan to reduce down for 5-10 mins if you like a thicker sauce.
We have this served with other veg and Yorkshire puddings. I will post my recipe for Yorkshire puddings soon.