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Corned beef braised in Guinness

This variation on a recipe that the Editor’s friend Robyn Whyte gave her is not, strictly speaking, a traditional dish but it does use traditional British ingredients and methods. This is an irresistible preparation and really helps supermarket grade corned beef.

Guinness Toucan Poster

- 1 brisket of corned beef (about 3 lb)

- 1 bottle (12 or 14 ½ oz) Guinness (for this recipe I like the old fashioned bottled stout, not the pub draft version)

- 2 Tablespoons malt vinegar

- ½ cup dark brown sugar

- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

- 1 heaping Tablespoon dried thyme

- Whole black peppercorns

- 6-8 cloves

- 2-3 bay leaves

- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire

- 1 ½ cups sliced onions

- 2 cups baby carrots or 1½ cups sliced carrots

- 2 cups chopped celery

- 3-4 cups beef stock

- Hot sauce to taste

Preheat the oven to 250˚

  1. Whisk together the Guinness, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, thyme and Worcestershire
  2. Put the pepper, cloves and bay in a roasting pan (alternatively, tie them in cheesecloth first) that fits the beef snugly; scatter the vegetables evenly around the pot.
  3. Rinse the beef and set it on the vegetables, pour over the Guinness mixture and stock, and bring the liquid  to a boil on the stove.
  4. Reduce the heat, skim off any scum, then cover and bake for 2-3 hours or until fork tender: Once the beef admits a butcher’s fork without resistance, but before it falls apart, remove it from the pot.
  5. Strain the broth to serve in a pitcher with the beef, separate the cloves, bay and peppercorns from the vegetables and serve them with the beef.
  6. Slice the beef diagonally across the grain: Some people like it thick and some like it thin. Serve with boiled potatoes, traditional mashed potatoes or mustard smashed potatoes.


Note: Mustard, mustard pickle or chow chow, Branston pickle, more malt vinegar and brown sauce are good condiments.