nly a true occasion calls for the level of commitment that cooking a dinner requiring 5-6 hours plus additional prep time and a huge amount of will power and patience. And that occasion was, you guessed it, a Birthday. My sister’s birthday to be precise. Its a running joke (which is also true…and very much not a joke) that her Birthday is an (on average) 2 week occasion spanning the initial pre-brithday drinks followed by the Birthday eve event, the actual Birthday, the post Birthday dinner, the family occasion and finally a get together for those unfortunate enough to miss all the above.
So it was the family occasion when this recipe was summoned for a Sunday dinner with a twist. Sticky, slow cooked spiced beef marinated in soy and lime and scattered with fresh coriander and crunchy peanuts. As a fan of beef, brisket is a deep and meaty flavour that adapts perfectly to the slow cook. That and the Asian influence that my family adore, this recipe was a hit! The reduced soy based sauce at the end is particularly punchy, salty, deep and sticky so it would suit a refreshing simple crunchy salad or lightly flavoured rice to accompany.
Followed by a ginger cake (see here) with candles, singing, some more cake, and some ice cream for good measure it was a culinary Birthday I’ll have to try and top next year…
Serves 6 (Adapted from Delicious Magazine recipe see here)
- 400g shallots, quartered
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500ml beef stock
- 200ml runny honey
- 2kg beef brisket
- 250ml shaoxing rice wine (from the world food section of large supermarkets)
- 70ml light soy sauce
- 70ml dark soy sauce
- 100g fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chinese five-spice powder
- 2 large red chillies, halved
- 150g unsalted peanuts, toasted and lightly crushed
- 1 red chillies, sliced finely
- Large bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- 3-4 limes
- Crunchy salad (Little gems, chicory, cucumber, spring onion, celery lemon juice etc)
- Preheat the oven to 140°C and get a deep roasting tray ready.
- Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan and add the quartered shallots and fry for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the beef stock and half the runny honey and stir and heat to combine.
- Add the rice wine, soy sauce, fresh ginger, five spice and red chills in a big jug.
- Lay the brisket in your deep roasting tin and pour over both the stock and shallot mixture and the sauce from the jug. Cover with a piece of parchment and then with a few layers of foil enough to cover the tray tightly folding the edges down. Place in the oven for 3 hours undisturbed.
- After this time, remove the foil and parchment and turn over the brisket and baste. Cover again and return to the oven for another 2 1/2 hours.
- After this time, remove from the oven and increase the heat to 220°C.
- Pour all the juices from the tray into a frying pan and set the brisket aside. Bubble the juices on a high heat on the hob for about 15 minutes to reduce the heat by about half. However check the seasoning as you do so. The soy is quite a salty mixture so if you reduce it too much it will be overpowering. Add a splash of boiling water if you do so. Season with pepper and salt if needed at the same time.
- Cover the brisket with just a few ladles of the sauce and then drizzle over the rest of the runny honey. Return to the hot oven for another 15 minutes to caramelise the brisket and crispy the outside.
- Once done, remove the brisket from the oven and serve on a large pre-warmed platter with any of the juices and shallots remaining from the tray. Scatter over the herbs, peanuts, chilli and squeeze over the juice of half a lime.
- Serve with the reduced sauce in a warmed jug on the side and a good juicy lime half for all your guests!
- Serve alongside rice, flatbreads, salad or any accompaniment you like.