Pot Roast with Star Anise

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Brisket is used to make an authentic pot roast – it is a cut of beef that needs long slow cooking to make it tender but the reward for your patience is in the taste of the final dish. Cheaper cuts of meat often need more time to cook but they deliver on flavour. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes. Reheat leftover brisket and serve in warm brioche buns with crisp iceberg lettuce, coleslaw and hoisin sauce.

Serves 4 plus leftovers


1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
900g piece of brisket
2 medium carrots, peeled and rinsed
1 leek, cleaned and cut into two pieces (discard the tough dark green leaves)
2 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
500ml cold water


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the brisket on all sides – this will take about 20 minutes but it is important to colour it well to give it flavour and to get heat into the meat to start it cooking before you transfer it to the oven.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring everything to the boil over high heat. When the liquid is boiling, put the lid on and transfer the casserole carefully to the oven. Cook for 2 and a half to three hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with a sharp knife (you may need to add some more cold water during cooking but don’t submerge the meat, it is meant to braise, not float!).

3. Put the casserole back on the stove, remove the lid and gently skim off the fat with a large spoon. You may need to leave it to cool to get rid of the final few spoons of fat. When you have removed the far from the sauce place the casserole over a high heat, turn the heat down to a simmer, put the lid back on the casserole and warm through.


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