A 2.5 kilo well-marbled Dexter beef brisket, rolled and tied
1 tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra to season
freshly ground black pepper
4-5 tbsp English rapeseed oil
8 shallot onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs bushy thyme
Handful of chopped parsley
1 large bay leaf
1 star anise
2 tbsp tomato purée
500ml/18fl oz hot beef stock, made with 1 beef stock cube
200ml/7fl oz red wine
6 large carrots, cut into 3cm/1¼in chunks
6 celery sticks, trimmed and cut into 4cm/1½in lengths
1. Season the beef all over with the salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the beef over a fairly high heat for 8-10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
2. While the beef is browning, chop the vegetables into chunks. Remove the beef from the casserole and put it to one side. Add the vegetables to the casserole and fry for five minutes or until nicely browned. Put the vegetables aside until later
3. Return the beef to the pot and tuck the thyme, bay leaf and star anise around the joint.
4. Stir the tomato purée into the hot beef stock and pour around the beef. Add the wine and bring to a gentle simmer on the hob.
5. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 4 hours or until the beef is very tender.
6. Add the reserved vegetables around the beef, basting with the juices, cover and cook for another hour or so until the beef yields to the pressure of a spoon.
7. Remove the beef from the dish and keep warm. Lift the vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
8. Strain the stock into a pan, bring to the boil and thicken up if needed by reducing it.
9. Slice the beef into thick slices and serve topped with a spoonful of the vegetables and some gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
Recipe courtesy of Ann Williams, Finwood Herd.