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Main Serves 8 3h 15 min
For a comforting mid-week supper, try braising or pot roasting in one piece. Traditionally, the French casserole 'pot-au-feu' is made using ultra cheap cuts like tongue and shin, with plenty of marrow bone thrown in for flavour. It's also a great way of making a beef roast. Beetroot will add depth of flavour but, obviously, will colour everything.


  • 550g/1kg beef roasting joint, unnetted
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut in thirds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 finger-sized piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 small beetroot, parsnips or swede, washed, peeled and quartered (optional)
  • 300g waxy potatoes
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 4 celery sticks (cut in thirds)


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 3h
  • Step 1

    Place the beef in a casserole dish big enough to contain everything, cover with water, and slowly bring to a simmering point. Remove the beef and chuck away the water.
  • Step 2

    Using the same pan, add the beef, onions, carrots, spices and herbs and cover with water again. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently (no boiling) for 1½ hours. Add the beetroot after 1 hour.
  • Step 3

    Remove everything from the broth and discard the fat if it has come away from the meat. Cool slightly and skim any fat and debris from the surface. Return the meat, onions, garlic cloves, and beetroot to the liquid. The carrots will have lost most of their flavour, so you might want to chuck them.
  • Step 4

    Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cabbage and celery, and simmer for 5 minutes more. To serve, carve the meat in thick slices. Serve the vegetables in individual bowls, topped with the meat and a ladle or two of the broth and some good bread.

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