One of my best kitchen investments has been my slow cooker. It’s perfect for those days when you’re going to be busy and you don’t want to spend too much time faffing about in the kitchen. My favourite dish to make in the slow cooker is roast beef and veg. There’s nothing better than popping this into your slow cooker first thing in the morning before spending a day hiking in the hills and returning to a house filled with the aroma of roast beef. All you need to do is whip up some mashed potatoes and thicken the gravy! Easy peasy! No basting, no watching the timer, no faff; just great food with minimal effort. You could, to save even more time, pop some potatoes in along with the veg for a simple one pot family meal.
Although slow cookers can be quite forgiving, tenderising the cheapest cuts of beef, I’ve been informed by my very lovely and helpful butcher at J.K. Mainland’s in Lerwick, Shetland, that rolled brisket is the ideal cut for this slow cooked dish. The resulting meat melts in the mouth and pairs perfectly with the Worcestershire flavoured gravy.
I’ve been putting a generous splash (or two, or three) of Worcestershire sauce in my slow cooker roast beef recipe for years so when Lea & Perrins contacted me offering me a sample of their product to play with and develop a recipe I jumped at the chance. It was conveniently timed too as I’d just run out!
After a few tries with different cuts of beef and types of red wine, I’ve refined my recipe. The resulting meat is tender and flavoursome and the gravy dark, rich and intensely beef flavoured without the addition of stock cubes or gravy granules, this, due in part to the good quality Shetland beef and of course, the Worcestershire sauce.
I’m a big fan of Worcestershire sauce. The intense anchovy and tamarind infused sauce enhances so many dishes, from spaghetti bolognese, to stews, casseroles, stir-fries and of course – the ultimate cheese on toast! Check out this recent video by Lea & Perrins which takes cheese on toast to the next level.
Next is Karen over at Lavender and Lovage with her Cooking with Herbs challenge. I haven’t been entering this fantastic challenge as often as I’d like to have over the winter months, but now that Spring is nearly here I hope to be incorporating more fresh herbs into my recipes.
We can’t forget Mark over at Cooking with Love and his Made with Love Monday’s challenge. Mark lives in Indianapolis, USA and the work he puts into sharing mouthwatering, made from scratch recipes from around the world is admirable.
Last but not least is my own Shop Local challenge which I set up last year in a bid to encourage food bloggers around the world to explore and show off the produce available where they live. The rolled brisket for this recipe was reared here in Shetland by Bryan Anderson, I was told by my butcher, and I would have had to have driven by his field in order to get to the butcher shop itself! The potatoes I used (not pictured – sorry, the daylight still isn’t very good at dinnertime so there are no after photos!) were also J.K. Mainland’s produce, my favourite mashing potatoes in the whole wide world (records, I’ve been informed, which have been grown here in Shetland with seaweed fertiliser).
- 1.2 kg rolled beef brisket, tied with string
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 250 ml red wine (eg: Shiraz)
- 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 125 ml water
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 300 grams carrots
- 4-6 brown onions
- 1 bulb garlic
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 1-2 tsp light brown muscovado sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 6
Leftovers? In the rare chance you might have some leftovers, here’s a few ideas to use them:
1. Leave the roast beef overnight in the fridge and thinly slice. Freeze, covered in leftover gravy and use at a later date in an open hot roast beef sandwich. Thickly slice some lovely, crusty bread, heat up the beef in gravy and pour over the top. Serve with steamed greens and potatoes on the side.
2. Roast Beef & Potato Hash – cubed cold roast beef and boiled potatoes flavoured with cumin and black mustard seeds. This dish will have you going back for thirds!
3. Meat Pies – a nostalgic childhood recipe made with my grandmother’s pastry recipe!
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Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary received a complimentary bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and was paid to develop a recipe. All opinions expressed are my own.