Prep 0 mins
Cook 0 mins
This was one of the great Victorian Christmas season dishes; the perfect centre piece for a cold supper buffet. A neat round joint of silverside or topside is the best for this kind of dish.
- 6 lbs joint of beef
- 3 ounces light brown sugar
- 1 ounce black peppercorns
- 1 ounce juniper berries
- 1 ounce allspice berry
- 4 ounces sea salt
- 1⁄4 ounce saltpeter
- Saltpeter is a necessary preservative when curing meat and also adds a pleasing red color otherwise the beef will turn out a murky grey.
- Rub the meat all over with the sugar and put it in a pot with a lid for 2 days. Leave it in a cool place, turning and rubbing the meat occasionally with the sticky liquor that develops.
- Crush the peppercorns, juniper and allspice with a pestle and mortar and mix with the salt and saltpeter.
- Rub this mixture well into the meat and leave it in the pot for a further 9 days. Turn the meat and rub the pickling mixture into the flesh daily.
- When the pickling is complete, remove the beef and rub off any excess spices adhering to the surface. Do not rinse it.
- Wrap the meat in cooking foil [the Victorians used suet] and put into a large ovenproof pot. Add about 10 fl oz water, cover the pot with a double layer of foil and fit the lid on tightly.
- Preheat the oven to 275 deg F.
- Bake the meat slowly allowing 45 min per lb.
- When the meat is cooked, remove the pot and set aside until it is quite cold.
- Unwrap the meat, drain off any excess liquid and place on a board.
- Cover with foil, put a weight on it and leave for at least 24 hr.
- Carve the meat into thin slices and serve with anything from good mustard to pickled kumquats.
All I have to say is... YUMMMMMMMMMM!!!! The only thing I did not do was use the saltpeter.