Salt Beef



  • 1.6kg (3½lb)  rolled beef brisket
  • 250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 350g (12oz) sea salt
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped,
  • 1 onion, quartered


  1. Put 4 litres (7pint) water into a pan large enough to hold meat and add sugar, salt, half the bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to boil then take off heat and allow to cool completely. Add brisket and weigh down with a saucepan lid, small enough to sit inside pan, to completely submerge beef.

  2. Chill for 7-10 days to allow the brine to penetrate the meat.

  3. Remove beef from brine, rinse in water then put in cleaned pan with enough water to cover brisket. Add carrot, onions and remaining bay leaves.

  4. Simmer very gently on top of stove for 4-5hr. Keep water topped up so meat is covered and regularly skim off any scum from surface. If salt beef floats to surface during cooking, use the pan lid again to keep it submerged.

  5. The salt beef is done when it is soft throughout. You can test this by pushing a skewer into meat – it should slide in easily.

  6. If serving warm, leave salt beef to rest for 30min before slicing or leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.

  7. I prefer this cold in sandwiches.