Opera Tavern’s Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket is one of the restaurant’s standout dishes. Accompanied by Celeriac Purée, Watercress, Pickled Shallots and Salsa Verde, it’s the perfect balance of earthy, meaty flavours and fresher notes from the vegetables. It also tastes great with an exceptionally cold beer!
Chef Francesco Marsella is the man behind this dish. Here he shows us how to make it at home..
Start with a a brine
Brisket is a tough piece of meat – you can’t just throw it on the grill. It needs to be worked on to release its magic, so we start by putting it in a brine bath, made from salt, sugar, bay leaf and peppercorn. This tenderises it. We then put it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Braising the beef
Once the beef has been brined, we braise it for seven or eight hours to make it really tender, before taking it out and pressing it. This makes it easier to cut into cubes: If we don’t do that, it could fall apart, because now it’s really soft.
Now the best best bit. At service time, we take the cubes of meat, cover the tops in our home-made barbecue sauce – made with tomato paste, coriander, cabernet sauvignon vinegar, olive oil and worcester sauce – and put them on the grill. We do this to warm it up and give it that lovely chargrilled flavour. You have to be careful though – if it stays on the grill too long it’ll burn and become bitter. We just want it to be a little crunchy on the outside.
With the meat cooking we make the celeriac puree and salsa verde, then put some more barbecue sauce on beef. The meat comes off the grill and we’re good to go. You can easily make this dish at home – it’s ideal for a barbecue. Though you might have to wait for the weather to improve!
This delicious Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket is part of Opera Tavern’s ‘four tapas for £21.00’ lunch offer.