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Pot-roasted Beef in Red Wine with Red Onion Marmalade

It has to be said that roasting meat does require a little attention, with basting and so on. But the great thing about a pot-roast is that it feeds the same number of people but leaves you in peace until you're ready to serve. Its other great virtue is that it enables you to use some of those very lean, delicious cuts of meat that are not suitable for roasting, such as brisket or silverside.

 Pot-roasted Beef in Red Wine with Red Onion Marmalade

  Serves 4-6

 2½ lb (1.15 kg) rolled brisket or silverside
 15 fl oz (425 ml) red wine
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 2 bay leaves
 a small bunch fresh thyme
 1½ level tablespoons flour
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the red onion marmalade:
 12 oz (350 g) red onions, very finely chopped
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 1 level teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
 8 fl oz (225 ml) red wine
 2 fl oz (55 ml) red wine vinegar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C)
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You will also need a medium-sized flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Guide to Meat Cookery).


Take the casserole, melt ½ oz (10 g) of the butter in it and when it begins to foam turn the heat up high. Dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper and then brown it on all sides in the hot butter, browning one flat side first, then turning it over on the other side and moving it around to get the round edges browned as well.

Then remove the meat, wipe the casserole with some kitchen paper and return the meat to it, adding the herbs, the wine and some salt and pepper. Bring it all up to simmering point, put on a tight-fitting lid, using foil if necessary, then transfer it to the oven and leave it to cook without looking at it for 3 hours.

While the beef is cooking, make the red onion marmalade: melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, stir in the chopped onions and the thyme and let them soften for about 10 minutes. Then add the wine and wine vinegar, bring it all up to a gentle simmer and add a seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and let the whole thing cook really slowly with the lid off for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove it from the heat, but re-heat gently before serving.

When the pot roast's cooking time is up, remove the meat from the casserole, cover it with foil and leave it to relax for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the herbs, place the casserole over direct heat and boil briskly to reduce the liquid slightly. Mix the flour and remaining butter to a smooth paste, then add this mixture in small pieces to the hot liquid and whisk with a small whisk until it comes back to the boil and you have a smooth, slightly thickened sauce.


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