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Brisket of Beef with Brown Ale

Brisket of Beef with Brown Ale

With plenty of locally reared Dexter Beef still in stock, this latest pot roast family lunch recipe from George Payne Butchers in Brunton Park, Gosforth, is ideal for cold days and it also suits any brisket joint. Takes time, but worth the effort, as the brisket slow cooks until tender in brown ale. The recipe again comes courtesy of the national Butchers Q Guild, of which George Payne remains a longstanding member.


  • 1.3kg/3lb lean beef brisket joint
  • 450ml/¾pint brown ale
  • 15ml/1tbsp oil
  • 8-10 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15ml/1tbsp brown sugar
  • 30ml/2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 15ml/1tbsp tomato purée
  • 15ml/1tbsp ground black pepper
  • 4 small turnips, peeled and quartered or left whole if small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 30ml/2tbsp gravy granules


  1. Place the joint in a large bowl and pour over the brown ale, cover and leave for 24 hours or overnight. (If you don’t have time to marinate the joint, just add the ale after the garlic in point 2). Drain the joint, pat the meat dry and reserve ale.
  2. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190ºC, 350-375ºF.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meat to brown all over. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Fry the shallots and garlic. Add the reserved marinated ale and bring to the boil. Add the bay leaf, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and black pepper. Pour over the brisket. Cover and cook in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Add the turnips and the carrots to the casserole, baste the brisket and replace the lid. Return to oven for ¾ -1 hour or until meat is tender.
  4. Remove the brisket and vegetables from the casserole, keep the vegetables warm and transfer the meat to a carving plate, cover lightly in foil and leave to rest. Drain the juices into a saucepan and thicken with gravy granules.
  5. Serve with cheesy croûtons (thick slices of French stick buttered and spread with wholegrain mustard piled with your favourite regional cheese, grated and placed under the grill until bubbling), gravy and a pile of steaming seasonal vegetables.
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