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Boiled beef and dumplings from Complete Nose to Tail

07 February 2013
Boiled beef and dumplings from Complete Nose to Tail

Ingredients
(Serves six)

2.5 kg piece of brisket (you can use silverside for this), unrolled, rinsed
Bundle of parsley and thyme
3 sticks of celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
6 onions, peeled
6 carrots, peeled
6 leeks, cleaned

For the dumplings 100g suet
225g self-raising flour
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1 beaten egg

Method Boiled beef also goes remarkably well with aïoli or green sauce, but if using these, do not include the dumplings or the pickled walnuts. To salt the briskets yourself, make a brine and leave them for 12 days, or you can buy salted brisket from the butcher, in which case make sure it's not rolled in.

After the meat has been simmering for 2 hours put in the onions, after 2 ½ hours the carrots, and after 3 hours the leeks. Keep an eye on your vegetables so they do not overcook - you can always remove them. However, this is a dish that demands well-cooked vegetables, no al dente here. When everything is ready, remove the meat and vegetables to a serving dish and keep them warm with a splash of broth to moisten. Make the dumplings as follows.

Bring the broth to a rolling simmer. Meanwhile mix the ingredients together, adding some cold water: you are looking for quite a sticky dough. Shape into walnut-sized balls and drop into your simmering broth - they should take about 10 minutes to cook and should be like little suet clouds. Serve all together with pickled walnuts and horseradish sauce.

Taken from Complete Nose to Tail

RECOMMENDED WINE The beef and the dumplings may well be the crux of this dish, but my main concern when matching here are the lurking twin menaces of pickled walnut and horseradish: wine slayers. We need a wine that has the acidity and freshness to go toe to toe with those accompaniments, while not overwhelming the far subtler combination of salted beef and dumplings. Loire Cabernet Franc springs to mind, so a good Saint-Nicolas de Borgueil also 
has the aromatics to play along with the greener notes of the celery and herbs. A quality 
Cru Beaujolais from Morgon Côte de Puy would be great too.

Zeren Wilson is a food writer and wine consultant, who runs restaurant review site 
www.bittenandwritten.com

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