Sunday 24 March 2013


I like the tradition of having roasts for Sunday lunch. It gives me a reason to look forward to the weekend. Sometimes though, I prefer having a lie in rather than rushing to get lunch ready. 

Pot roast gives me the best of both worlds. I can be cook it ahead and reheat for lunch. 

My mother used to cook a dish of ox tongue with white sauce which was baked into a pie. I know that my children wouldn't eat that sort of thing and so I used the recipe to cook a simple beef dish. They really like it. Or rather, really, really like it.

I liked it too because I cooked it the day before, had an extra hour in bed and had a relaxed Sunday lunch.


1.8-2.0 kg. joint of topside, silverside or rump of beef
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. plain flour
2 tbsps. oil
1/c. butter
3 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 large onion chopped
2 beef stock cubes
4 medium carrots, cut into diagonal slices
1/4 c. + 1 tbsp. flour
3 c. stock (strained cooking liquid)
1/2 c. cream
250 gms. chestnut mushrooms, halved
1 1/2 tbsps. chopped parsley
1 1/2 tbsps. chopped chives 


Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/180° C.

Season the beef joint with the salt, mixed herbs and black pepper. Dust with 1/4 c. plain flour and shake off the excess.

Heat up a frying pan and add in the 2 tbsps. butter and the oil.

Sear the beef joint until well browned all over. 

Sauté the garlic and onion in the 2 tbsps. of butter in an oven proof lidded pot. Put the beef on top of the onions and add water to reach 2/3 up its sides. Add in the beef stock cubes. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or until fork tender (pierce with a fork to test for tenderness; the fork should easily reach the middle of the joint). Do not overcook as it will fall apart when sliced.

Take the meat out and leave to rest before slicing. It is easier to slice when it has cooled down.

Strain the cooking liquid.

Boil the carrots until just done. Strain.

Heat up the remaining 1/4 c. of butter in a saucepan. Stir in the 1/4 + 1 tbsp. plain flour. When bubbling, take off the heat and add in the 3 c. of stock gradually while whisking. Add in the cream. Return to the heat and bring to a gentle boil while stirring constantly to make a smooth sauce. Add in the mushrooms and carrots and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste and take off the heat.

Slice the beef. Arrange half of the beef slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Top with half of the vegetables and some of the sauce. Sprinkle half of the chopped parsley and chives. Repeat the layers and finish with a thin layer of sauce. Leave some herbs for garnish after baking.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot with boiled, mashed or roast potatoes.

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