The slow cooker is most likely the best invention since sliced bread (even though I still like to slice my own bread; old school, I know!). I completely adore the comforting smell that fills the kitchen when the cooker has been bubbling away for a while. Here is one of my favourite pulled beef recipes. It is a brilliant comfort for four people on a rainy day.
1kg beef brisket (you can either have the bones in or it can be deboned, your choice)
1 tbsp oil
½ cup beef stock
½ cup good quality red wine
10 garlic cloves, bruised
1 onion, finely diced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the oil in a pan and then on the hob and heat it up.
Sear the brisket in the pan. Once you have a beautiful golden crust, it is ready for the slow cooker.
Place the brisket in the slow cooker and add garlic, onion, passata, wine and stock.
Switch the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours, medium for 5-7 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Once the meat is tender, pull it apart with two forks. I like to do this on a separate board, but you should be able to do it in the slow cooker to save on some of the washing up.
If the garlic and onion hasn’t disintegrated by this time, smash it with a fork to mix in with the sauce.
Use a little corn flour to thicken the sauce (if needed) once the meat is placed back into the cooker.
Now season the meat with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Leave for about 20 minutes to ½ hour on low for the seasoning to permeate the dish and allow you to finish off the side dishes (I love serving this with slow roasted vegetables, roasted garlic flat mushrooms and a little rice) and pour a generous glass of wine.
Here are some great starches to accompany this dish: