Dexter brisket roast with gruyere & horseradish potato gratin
No trip back home to our family farm in Yorkshire is complete without my brazen daylight robbery of the meat freezer. Unfortunately (for me at least) my mum’s amazing Dexter beef is now mostly sold by the whole carcass to some fancy London restaurants, which means that box upon box of offal now take up the freezer space once occupied by the succulent foreribs, sirloin and topside, marbled with the creamy flavoursome fat that only comes from a slow paced idyllic life munching on sweet grass a secluded forest meadow, (I know, I know ‘first world problems’ but the pain is real). On my latest trip I did find a secret stash of brisket, a cut popularised by the bbq phenomenon over the past ten years, but which also makes a decent alternative roast, braised first with red wine and served with a creamy horseradish and potato bake. If your butcher has already rolled the brisket, you can just untie and flatten out for maximum crispyness and roast flavour. The cooking time here may seem excessive, but the results will be worth it!
For the brisket
750ml Red wine
1 litre Beef stock
1 Carrot/ 1 stick Celery/1 white onion, Peeled and roughly chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 Bulb of garlic, cut in half
1 Bay leaf
For the gratin
1.5 kg White Potatoes
4 Cloves Garlic
400ml Double Cream
3 Heaped tbsp Horseradish Sauce
50g Gruyere, grated
50g Dried bread Crumbs
½ tbsp fresh chopped Thyme
For the Brisket
Place the brisket on a large roasting tin, season well and roast for 30 minutes at 200C
In a large saucepan over a highish heat, fry the carrot, onion and celery until well coloured, add the red wine and reduce by half, add the beef stock, garlic, chopped tomatoes and bay leaf, bring to a simmer. Add the part roasted brisket, lid or tightly cover the pan and slow braise for 6 hours at 130C.
Carefully remove the brisket and place onto a roasting tray. Roast again at 200C for another 45 minutes until the fat is looking caramelised and crispy. Strain the cooking liquor- you can reduce this to serve an incredible gravy and freeze any extra to use as a rich beefy stock base.
For the Gratin
Use a Japanese vegetable mandolin to finely slice the potatoes, place into a large mixing bowl with the cream, horseradish, garlic and salt and pepper and mix well. Place, a layer at a time into an oven proof dish, adding a little of the horseradish cream with each layer. Mix together the breadcrumbs, gruyere and thyme and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 160C for approximately 50 minutes (Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness, check the potatoes are fully cooked by pushing a knife into the centre of the gratin, if it’s soft, its ready.