Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Spiced Irish Beef at Christmas

On the Irish theme Spiced Beef is traditionally eaten over Christmas. It used to be made at home but these days most butchers have their own secret recipes and you can buy the meat "ready spiced" from them. It takes about three weeks for the beef to absorb the spices before it's cooked. It leaves the meat pink in the centre with an almost black "crust" of spices and a quite unique flavour. It can be served hot or cold and many Irish people in Southern Ireland will eat it at some time over the festive season.

Spiced Irish Beef

7 lb/ 3 kg joint of beef
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mace
2 tsp saltpetre
2 tbsp black treacle
2 tbsp brown sugar
cold water to cover
bottle Guinness
½ cup salt

Combine all the ingredients except the beef, water and Guinness. Place the beef in a bowl and cover with the mixture. Rub it in once or twice a day for a week. Tie up the meat into a good shape and place in a pan. Cover with cold water to which a bottle of Guinness has been added. Simmer gently for 5-6 hours. When cool, press lightly between two plates.

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