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C.C. Hogan

Fantasy Recipe: Beef and Carrots

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Hot, Warming Hero Food

The trouble with some famous dishes is that over the years they have been brought into disrepute by legions of crappy cooks both in Caffs and at home.

Boiled Beef and Carrots is one such, probably not helped by being eulogised in a rather naff song on the English Music Hall circuit. The reality done right is superb and served with either bread or big scoops of mash potato is simply gorgeous.  Here is a bread recipe to go with it and if you want to read about my thoughts about a Tavern, read here.

The trick here is the boiling stock. There needs to be loads of this so that the big bowls you give your customers are swimming in it. 

This recipe gives no real quantities as they don't matter much. Just lots of everything.


  • Big lump of beef - brisket, whole rump, whatever you can afford. Your cooking time will depend on the joint - tenderer joints might fall apart too quickly.
  • Big bag of large, cheap carrots.
  • Bottle of wine or half the quantity of something like Sherry.
  • Several pints rich stock.
  • Big bouquet garni with season herbs
  • Lots of black pepper
  • Salt to taste,
  • Onions,
  • Head of garlic 


Take a huge pot and half fill it with Stock/Wine to your own liking.

Peel the carrots and chop into large chunks - if you make them too small they will cook too quickly and fall apart.  Couple of inches long or more. Chuck them in the pot

Peel the onions and chop in two.

Peel the garlic and throw in.

Chuck in a load of black pepper and salt to taste.

Chuck in the bouquet garni.

Sit the beef joint in the pot - the liquid should just cover the joint.

Bring to the boil then turn to simmer. After a while, skim off any scum.

Cover and leave to simmer for 2-3 hours till the beef is just tender.

Remove the joint, bring the stock to the boil and reduce the stock a little if needed.

To Serve

Carve slices of beef.

Fill a bowl with the carrots and stock - should almost be a soup quantity of stock.

Lay the beef on top and wet with a little more stock.

Serve with potatoes or bread on top.


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