Meltingly tender beef, letting the oven do the work!
- a 1.5kg beef brisket joint
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 30g root ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp harissa paste (we used Belazu)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 ltr beef stock (made using 2 stock cubes)
- 125g dried apricots, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Trim excess fat from the brisket, cut the meat into 4cm chunks and lightly season. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large lidded sauté pan or casserole, then fry the beef in batches over a high heat until browned on all sides, adding more oil if necessary. Set aside in a large bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium, add another tablespoon of oil, then fry the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened and golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, followed by the spices, harissa paste, flour, ground almonds and a splash of the stock. Stir well for 1-2 minutes.
Return the beef and any resting juices to the pan; stir to combine. Pour in the remaining stock and bring almost up to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Increase the oven temperature to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3½. Stir in the apricots and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes.
For best results, use a slotted spoon to remove the beef to a board and shred with two forks. Stir back through the sauce and check the seasoning. Leave to rest, covered, for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with fluffy cous cous and tender stem broccoli.