Hereford Beef Brisket with Brown Ale

Pot roasting is an ancient cooking method dating back to prehistoric times. Clay, bronze and copper pots were hung over the open fire and meat, vegetables and water slowly cooked – we’ve moved on.

Feeds: 4-6

Time to cook

Approximately 2 hours plus optional overnight marinating

Oven temperature

Gas mark 4-5, 180°C, 350°F


  • Lean beef brisket joint
  • Brown Ale
  • Oil
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf
  • Brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tomato puree
  • Ground black pepper
  • Small turnips
  • Carrots
  • Gravy granules


Place 1.5kg (3lb) lean beef brisket joint into a large bowl and pour over 450ml (3/4 pt) Brown Ale, cover and leave for 24 hours or overnight. (If you don’t have time to marinate the joint, add the ale after adding the garlic as in the paragraph below). Drain joint, reserve ale and pat dry.

Heat 15ml (1tbsp) oil in a pan and fry the meat to brown all over. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Fry 8-10 shallots, peeled, and 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed. Add the reserved marinated ale and bring to the boil. Add 1 bay leaf, 15ml (1tbsp) brown sugar, 30ml (2tbsp) Worcestershire sauce, 15ml (1tbsp) tomato puree and black pepper. Pour over the brisket. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add 4 small turnips, peeled and quartered (left whole if small), and 2 carrots, peeled and quartered, to the casserole, baste the brisket and replace the lid. Return to oven for 3⁄4 -1 hour or until meat is tender.

Remove the brisket and vegetables from the casserole, keep the vegetables warm and transfer the meat to a carving plate, cover lightly in foil and leave to rest. Drain the juices into a saucepan and thicken with gravy granules.


Serve with cheesy croutons (thick slices of French stick buttered and spread with wholegrain mustard piled with your favourite regional cheese, grated and placed under the grill until bubbling), gravy and a pile of steaming seasonal veg.


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