Pot-roasted Beef Brisket


1-1.25kg/2.25-2.75lb boned and rolled brisket (Topside or Silverside could also be used if preferred)
5 tbsp vegetable oil
large knob of butter
2 large onions, halved and sliced
2-3 celerysticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
200-250g/8-9oz large flat mushrooms, stalks chopped and heads thinly sliced
500-550ml bottle brown ale or stout
a few fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp light muscovado sugar
500g parsnips, cut into wedges
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
chopped fresh parsley or thyme, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Wash and dry brisket and season. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep casserole and brown beef all over. Remove from pan. Turn down heat, add butter and fry the onions, celery, carrots and mushroom stalks for 6-8 minutes.

2. Return beef to pan and add beer, thyme, bay leaves and sugar. Add water if necessary so the liquid comes about two-thirds up the beef. Season, bring to a simmer, cover tightly, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C and cook for 2 hours, turning twice, until tender.

3. An hour before the beef is done, toss the parsnips in oil, season and roast on a baking tray above the beef for 50 mins – 1 hr until tender, turning once.

4. Turn oven up to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Lift out the beef, tent with foil and keep warm. Stir the parsnips and mushroom caps into the beef juices. Check seasoning; add water if needed. Cover and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are tender.