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Spiced beef based on Henry Sarson’s robust wartime wet cure.

Mr. Sarson uses fresh herbs but dried work fine. Use the same kind of meat and cooking method as the Grigson recipe.

Cow Engraving

-2 oz coarse salt (e.g. Maldon)
-½ oz ground allspice
-¼ oz powdered bay
-¼ oz powdered cloves
- 1 oz coarsely ground pepper
- 2 sprigs each of marjoram, sage and thyme, stemmed and minced
-¼ lb sugar
-¼ lb molasses
-½ cup malt vinegar
-2 oz dark rum

Whisk everything together, dump the beef in a bag and pour the marinade over it. Turn and rub the meat daily for 1-2 weeks before draining and cooking it.


-Mr. Sarson does not indicate precisely how much meat to use other than to mention “a large round of beef.” That is a lot of meat but even so, the amount of salt in his original recipe, a pound, would be sufficient to dehydrate a brigade. The Editor obviously has been ruthless in reducing that amount. She also has added proportionally more spice, herbs and rum to the cure.

- If you have a spice grinder you can pulverize your own spice and herbs, as Mr. Sarson did, for an even more robust cure.

-Once again, dried herbs would be fine; throw in about ½ teaspoon apiece, more if you like.

-As Mr. Sarson says his spiced beef, “should be eaten cold and is delicious.” No brag, just fact. Home Pickling (London 1940) 124

-In December 2005 or thereabouts, Claire Hopley published a recipe for English Spiced Beef in the “Get Wrapped” holiday section of the Boston Globe. It is essentially the Grigson-David recipe with the addition of cinnamon; not for us.