You might remember I mentioned that our local butcher is selling silverside at a remarkably good price - £4.95 a kilo. Well, we couldn't leave such a great offer in the shop, now could we?
Silverside comes from the back leg of the animal - above the leg and below the buttock, effectively. The piece of silverside we brought home was a really nice-looking piece of beef, with fine lines of fat marbling through the meat that would ensure it stayed juicy when cooked. For some strange reason, the butcher had attached extra fat to the joint of meat which we were quick to remove. Well, for our purposes - we were braising in stock - we didn't need the extra fat and the dogs were happy to take it off our hands.
For all that we were keen to have a proper roast beef dinner that Sunday, I couldn't help but worry whether roasting the beef would render it tender enough. I know that hubby and son & heir have textural issues with their food and tough meat is a guaranteed no-no for the both of them. So this is why we opted for the guaranteed tenderiser of the slow cooker.
Hubby was in charge - as it was Sunday - and he put the beef into a lovely broth of assorted flavours that smelled awesome as the day progressed.
|This photograph makes my teeth itch to get stuck in again!|
When it came to serving time, between the smells from the gravy, the meat, the roasting vegetables and Yorkshire puddings, I was in a welter of anticipation. I had my little pot of horseradish sauce and another of mustard, my knife and fork were in their blocks and ready for the off. I felt like one of the Bisto kids!
Roast beef has to be my favourite Sunday meal. Now okay, this beef wasn't "roasted" as tradition would dictate but boy oh boy, it was very close to it. Succulent and robust, each slice just danced across your tongue accompanied by the tangy horseradish - just bliss.
So if your butcher is doing a special offer on silverside and you've got a slow cooker - don't hesitate, just get some!
SLOW COOKER BRAISED SILVERSIDE OF BEEF (feeds 3 with plenty left for a pie the next day)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1kg piece of silverside of beef
100ml beef stock (from a cube or made with Bovril is fine)
100ml Shiraz red wine
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, coarsely sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed, with skins left on
1 carrot cut lengthways and into chunks
a tsp of whole black peppercorns
a tsp of herbes de provence
half a tsp of Worcestershire sauce
half a tsp of Mushroom ketchup.
1. Into the slow cooker , add all the ingredients except for the oil and the beef. Turn the slow cooker on to high, to get them all heated through.
2. Take a non-stick frying pan and on a high heat, heat the oil until sizzling. Then seal the beef on all sides, leaving it long enough to get a crusty, caramelised surface that will help the "roasted" flavour.
3. Place the beef carefully into the stock in the slow cooker.
4. Pour any liquid fat out of the frying pan, then add a ladleful of the stock from the slow cooker to deglaze the pan. Pour back into the slow cooker, add the lid and cook on high for some 5-6 hours.
6. In the meantime, drain the cooking liquor through a sieve into a saucepan to make the gravy. Begin by bringing the liquid to a gentle boil and allow the liquid to reduce by a quarter - just enough to concentrate the flavours. It is probably best to judge it by taste, as to how far you reduce the liquor.
7. Once reduced sufficiently, slake a dessertspoonful of cornflour with a little water - just enough to make it mobile - and add, by degrees, to the gravy, stirring constantly.
8. Once the gravy achieves the desired consistency, carve the meat and serve.