Braised brisket with prunes

Braised brisket with prunes

Cooking from the Heart
Mark Roper

Slow-cooking is popular once again. People have come to realise that some of the less glamorous cuts have the most flavour, and brisket is one of them. Ask your butcher for boned beef brisket, ready-trimmed for the pot. A little fat left on the meat will add to the flavour.

Brisket needs long, slow cooking to become tender and delicious. Don’t boil it, let it simmer gently if you want it to slice well.


Quantity Ingredient
2-3 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil
1-1.5 kg piece beef brisket, trimmed, boned and with a little fat left on
1-2 onions, cut into wedges
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
ground white pepper, to taste
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups dried prunes, pitted
2 tablespoons golden syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Heat the schmaltz or oil in a flameproof baking dish with a lid over medium heat. The dish needs to be just big enough to hold the brisket and the other ingredients.
  3. Brown the brisket in the hot schmaltz or oil, turning it to seal all over.
  4. Add the onions and let them colour with the meat for about 5 minutes, turning from time to time.
  5. Add the carrots, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and season with sea salt and white pepper. Pour in just enough cold water to cover the meat. Cover with the lid, transfer the dish to the oven and leave to slowly bake, without removing the lid, for about 1½ hours.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven, arrange the potatoes and prunes around the meat and top up with a little more water if needed so that the potatoes and prunes are just covered. Spoon the golden syrup over, mix, and season to taste.
  7. Cover the dish and bake for another 45–60 minutes, or until the potatoes and meat are tender.
  8. Serve the brisket sliced, with its wonderful gravy.
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