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Braised Beef with a Peppercorn Sauce

Every now and again I toy with the idea of becoming a vegetarian and then I think of  eating a nice piece of tender beef, or some perfectly roasted chicken, some succulent pork with crackling . . .  bacon  . . . tender slices of ham with that glazed and crispy fat on the edges . . . and I change my mind.   I just couldn't give them up completely.  Not. At. All.

I think brisket has to be one of my favourite cuts of beef.  I know it is one of the tougher cuts, but when it is properly cooked, it is delicate and delicious.

More often than not I will use it in a pot roast, or cut it up and stew it for a meat pie or some such.  Today I decided to give it a kind of a short rib treatment . . .

I rubbed it all over with some spice and then I browned it slowly all over in a knob of butter . . .

Then I added  a bit of beef stock and simmered it tightly covered until that beef was fork tender and succulent . . .  but that's not all I did . . .

I then used some of the pan drippings, some shallots, brandy, green peppercorns and . . .  *Gulp* . . .  double cream  . . .

And I got all saucy with it . . . creating  the perfect sauce to spoon over that beautifully flavoured and perfectly cooked beef  . . .

Then I served it up with some delicious twice cooked chips and a bit of veg on the side because you need a bit of veg don't you?  Its what keeps you healthy-like.


*Braised Beef with a Peppercorn Sauce*
Serves 4
Tender Beef, with a delicious sauce. I like to serve with chips and a vegetable. 

1 small rolled beef brisket (about 1 pound or so in weight)
salt and black pepper to taste
garlic and onion powder
knob of butter
beef stock 

For the sauce:
1 banana shallot, peeled and chopped
2 TBS of green peppercorns in brine, drained
60ml brandy (1/4 cup)
330ml double cream (1 1/2cup heavy cream)
salt and black pepper to taste 

Mix together the salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powders.  Unroll the beef brisket.  Trim off any visible fat.  Cut into serving size pieces. rub all over with the salt and pepper mixture.  Heat a small knob of butter in a flameproof casserole.  Once it begins to foam add the pieces of beef in a single layer.  Brown generously on all sides.  Pour over hot stock to cover about halfway up the sides.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.  Cover tightly and cook over a low heat for about an hour and a half, to two hours until the meat is very tender, turning it every now and then.  Take care that the liquid doesn't all simmer away and top up as needed.  Once the meat is very tender remove it to a platter and keep warm while you make the sauce.  Add the shallot to the pan along with the brandy. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer until most of the brandy has evaporated along with any pan juices left. Add the drained peppercorns and double cream.  Simmer for several minutes for the flavours to melt and the sauce to reduce somewhat.  Taste and adust seasoning as needed. Spoon over the warm beef and serve immediately.

If I had to make one complaint about this it would be that it doesn't photograph near as nice as it tastes and if it weren't for the cream, I could quite easily have eaten twice the amount of that delicious sauce  . . . . sigh . . .  Bon Appetit!
Marie Rayner
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  1. Oh, Marie! This looks incredible. A perfect Sunday dinner! I agree with you on thoughts of going vegetarian but I do love meat, all types, just as you do. I guess moderation is the key. And I load up on veggies.

    I am definitely going to try your beef cooking method. I tend to overcook things on the stovetop so I use my oven once I've browned the meat. I wouldn't get the drippings for the gravy that way though. Do you have gas or electric?

    Thanks again for an amazing recipe. Your photos are wonderful.

    Jane x

    1. You are right Jane, moderation is the key. I wish I was a more moderate person! I have a dual stove, gas on the top where I want instant heat and an electric oven where I like the control. I load up on veggies too. Note, this sauce is also excellent with a grilled steak! xo

  2. This looks delicious Marie! I could never be a vegetarian either, bc I love so many meat dishes. Also I don't like all the veggies. Lol. I'm fussy.
    Yesterday I baked a big sweet potato for dinner, than had a yogurt with granola in it. I also like to make eggs for dinner too. So I don't always eat meat every day either.
    So excited for u that you will be in Scotland soon! Yay! xo

    1. Thanks Jan, yes we will be in Scotland soon, and we are really looking forward to the break. We have had a horrendously worriesome six months so this little trip will be such a blessing. I love sweet potatoes and often could eat just one of those with a little pat of butter melting on top. I do like vegetables alot, so I guess I am in luck that way! xoxo PS - yesterday we had an omelet for our supper. Filled with veggies and cheese. It was great!


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