My starting point for this post is a 1.5kg piece of beef brisket, which I will start off pot roasting and then use the leftovers in various ways. Brisket is a cheap cut of beef, ideal for the post Christmas budget and full of flavour that rewards tender love and care and slow cooking.

Spiced pot roast of brisket


1.25kg (approx) of brisket
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
50g of soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion - cut into six wedges
100ml balsamic vinegar
600ml beef stock
1 stick of cinnamon
3 bay leaves
400g shallots either round or the elongated echalion variety
500g of Chantenay carrots - peeled and left whole or halved lengthways if large
250g of parsnips - peeled and cut into wedges
500g of butternut squash - peeled, deseeded and cut into wedges
500g of sweet potato - peeled and cut into wedges
2 tbsp cornflour
15g butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Mix the allspice, coriander, black pepper and brown sugar together.

Pat dry the beef with kitchen paper.

Rub the sugar and spice mix together and rub in to all exposed surfaces of the brisket, put in a dish large enough to hold it, spoon over 1 tbsp of the rum and then cover with a lid or clingfilm for at least 3 hours and up to 48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C, fan 130C or gas 2 or warm up your slow cooker on low. 

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or roasting tray and brown the beef all over; remove and brown the onion wedges all over. Add the stock and balsamic vinegar and stir well to loosen all the caramelised bits on the bottom of the pan (don't be tempted to clean these out of the pan first as there is a lot of flavour in them and they help add colour to the gravy).

Add the beef, bay leaves and cinnamon stick to the stock and put in the oven for 2 hours (turn the joint over after an hour).

Add the vegetables and cook for another hour.

Remove the beef and veg to a warm plate and wrap up well in foil to allow the beef to rest while you turn the gravy into sauce. Add another tbsp dark rum to the sauce if you like and thicken up with the slaked cornflour and stir until just back to the boil and slightly thickened. Finish off by stirring in 15g butter, which will add a nice gloss.

Carve the beef into thin slices and serve with the vegetables and sauce; garnish with the chopped parsley. This is a one pot dish, but you can serve with other potatoes and vegetables if you wish.