3:59 am on 24 November 2005

This recipe is an old one and comparatively simple, but the beef does require almost two weeks of marination or curing.


  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 - 4 lb unsalted lean brisket of beef (2kg hunk)
  • 3 tbsp whole juniper berries
  • 3 tbsp whole alspice
  • 3 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 3 tbsp course salt
  • ¼ pint cold water


Firmly press brown sugar into brisket with your finger tips.

When the meat is well coated on all sides, place it in a large casserole or baking dish. Cover and refrigerate undisturbed for 2 days.

Crush together the juniper berries, allspice. pepper corns, and salt and using a mortar and pestle, or wrap them in a towel and beat until crushed.

Press about 1 tb spoon of spice mixture into the surface of the meat once a day for 9 days covering and returning back to fridge.

On the 12th day, preheat oven to 275f. (140c)

Rinse beef under cold running water to remove any spices adhering to it, and pour off all the accumulated liquid.

Return beef to casserole and add the ¼ pint water.

Cover and bake undisturbed in centre of oven for 3 ½ hours until meat is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with a fork.

Then cool the meat to room temp and wrap in foil.

Place a flat plate or board on top of it and weight it down with a heavy pan - at least 4lbs.

Refrigerate the weighted meat overnight or for at least 12 hours.

To serve, carve beef into the thinnest possible slices and accompany with fresh crusty bread and pickles.

Tightly wrapped in foil, and refrigerated, spiced beef will keep for as long as 4 weeks.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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