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Looking for a really tasty, economical meal for a cool day? Here you go!

Oven-baked beef brisket

Oven-baked beef brisket

I made this beef brisket dish at the weekend. It’s from a Wine Selectors calendar we got last year, and the recipe is on their website here (Oven-baked beef brisket). Brisket is a brilliant cheap cut of meat, but needs a long cooking process. It basically takes a day from start to finish, but is pretty low input for most of the time, so great on a day when you’re pottering around the house, or are in and out.  Or you could get it marinating the night before to speed things up. And if you don’t want to be eating really late then read the recipe through to the end before deciding what time to start! Obviously I wouldn’t start, and not realise that taking it out of the oven after 3 ½ hours was still 1 ½ hours from eating time…

Spoilt dogs, and Jedi terrier

Spoilt dogs, and Jedi terrier

The dogs went crazy for it. In hindsight it was a mistake to give them a few of the fatty scraps left over when I shredded the meat, and before we ate. They were pretty interested even before that, due to the amazing smells wafting around, but after a taste test they wouldn’t leave my side. Blizzard is quite a vocal little girl, and while we were eating dinner, we had to put up with her sitting by the table, concentrating intently while trying her Jedi mind tricks on us, and producing a quiet, low, kind of purring / growling noise. It didn’t work, sadly for her.

I didn’t do the suggested sides this time; we just had mashed potato and broccoli. And the brisket from our butcher comes in a roll so I unrolled it to rub on the marinade then rolled it up again, and just put it in the casserole dish like that, rather than how the recipe describes it.

Pioneer Woman - Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Pioneer Woman – Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes

And if you want amazing mashed potato see this recipe from the Pioneer Woman (Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes). A great bonus with this method is that it is made in advance and reheated in the oven. I have even made it way in advance and kept it in the freezer, then defrosted and reheated in the oven. I obviously use lots of extra virgin olive oil in place of a lot of the butter. But the bottom line is, for amazing mashed potato, you seem to need a lot of fat!! You have to decide whether to confess or not when people ask how you get it to taste so good. I suppose you could pretend it was just a really special creamy variety of potato… Anyway, the brisket freezes really well too, just defrost slowly, and reheat gently on a low heat in the oven or on the stove. So make a big batch, and hopefully there’ll be some leftover for an easy meal later on. FFx