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Italian Beef with horseradish Puddings

Prep Time:

30 Minutes

Cook Time:

5 1/2 Hours


8 Servings



About the Recipe

Cooking this beautiful, yet neglected, inexpensive cut of beef low and slow turns it into a first-rate, flavourful roast that’s fall-apart tender. Add an intense, wine-rich sauce and horseradish Yorkshires and you’re in roast heaven.


  • 1.7-2kg piece British beef brisket, rolled and tied

  • 6 banana shallots, halved or quartered

  • 3 carrots, sliced

  • 2 celery sticks, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes

  • 350ml red wine (use a robust Italian wine)

  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Horseradish Pudding

  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil or beef dripping

  • 225g plain flour

  • Pinch baking powder

  • 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten

  • 300ml whole milk

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tbsp creamed hot horseradish


  1. Heat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper, then sear all over for 10 minutes until golden. Set aside.

  2. Heat a glug of oil in the casserole over a medium heat, then add the shallots, carrots and celery. Fry for 5 minutes or until beginning to colour and soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, wine, herbs and chilli flakes. Stir.

  3. Sit the rolled brisket in the sauce, put the lid on, then transfer to the oven and cook on the middle shelf for a total of 5½ hours or until soft and falling apart. (After 2 hours of cooking time, turn the brisket over and baste with the cooking juices. Cover again with the lid, return to the oven for another 2 hours, then turn and baste again. Cover and return to the oven for the final 1½ hours of cooking.)

  4. Once the brisket has had its full cooking time and is tender, remove from the oven and set aside in the casserole to rest. Turn up the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

  5. For the Yorkshire puddings, divide the oil/dripping evenly among the holes of the muffin tin, then heat in the oven for 5 minutes until the fat is smoking hot. Meanwhile sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl or jug with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs, followed by the milk. Whisk until smooth and bubbles start to appear on the surface. Stir in the thyme and horseradish. Divide the batter evenly among the holes of the heated muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden.

  6. Meanwhile transfer the brisket to a carving board and slice. Put on warmed plates with the Yorkshires, with plenty of the sauce spooned over the top. Serve with creamy mash and buttery greens, if you like.

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