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Spiced, slow roasted beef with marrowbone

By December 15, 2020

This dish is based on an historical traditional Irish dish served at Christmas. In some areas in the south (Cork/Kerry) it is still eaten, but you do see it occasionally on menus elsewhere. It's not as common where I come from in Mayo. While the common beef cuts to use would be top, silverside, round or brisket, I opted for chuck as I wanted something with some good marbling and fat running through the joint for slow roasting (and it's not as expensive). You need to kick this off about 7-10 days in advance of cooking to allow the flavours to infuse. 

Many people associate the term "spice" with heat, this is all about aromatics, so lots of fragrant spices are used. 
The marrowbone I like to serve on the side, you can scoop it out and smear on a slice of toasted bread or use it to enrich your gravy, don't throw the bone away it can be used in making stock. I used a 1kg beef joint, if you are using a larger joint then adjust the cooking times as it will need much longer.
1kg chuck beef
1 beef shin marrowbone
2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
10g coriander seeds
5g black peppercorns
10 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic roughly crushed but kept whole
2 shallots quartered
20g salt
10g sugar
2 litres water
10 ml oil for frying

10 days before, prepare the brine, I like to use a large plastic container with a lid
Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water and add the rest of the ingredients (excluding the beef chuck joint), stir to combine
Put the beef joint in the brine and ensure it is fully covered, if need be top up with additional water
Place the lid on the container and put in the fridge for 7-10 days, turn the beef every day
After the allotted time, remove the beef, pat dry with kitchen towel and allow to air dry for a few hours in the fridge
Set your BBQ up for indirect cooking at 130c
In a pan on the hob, quickly sear the beef joint in the oil to get a quick colour on all sides
Place the beef  joint and marrowbone in a cast iron roasting dish and place on the BBQ
Cook for roughly 2 hours ( N.B. larger joints will take longer so cooking time may need to be doubled etc..) or until the joint reaches 57c core temperature
Allow to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes before serving

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