Monday, 29 December 2014

Spiced beef

According to wikipedia Spiced beef is a cured and salted joint of rump or silverside beef, which is traditionally served at Christmas or the New Year in Ireland.

I remember eating spiced beef as a child, it was always a Christmas special, though not usually eaten on Christmas day. Downey's butchers in Terenure, near where I grew up, was known for its spiced beef, and it was a favourite of my father's. In the last few years, I have usually cooked a spiced beef in the run up to Christmas, and it is a special dinner. This year I bought it from James Whelan butchers, planning to cook it on the 23rd December, when the family (including my mother) would be together to enjoy it.

It was my mum who suggested I try cooking it in the slow cooker. I was afraid that it might get a little overdone, but since I was at work on the 23rd, and I didn't want her to have to cook it, I decided to give it a try - and I'm glad I did. This is definitely how I'll cook it in future.


This took almost no preparation at all. I chopped up two onions and put them at the bottom of the crock pot, and set the spiced beef on top. I then poured over a 500ml can of Guinness. I put the lid on the cooker, set it to cook on low and left it for 8 hours.

Shortly before eating, we prepared some mashed potato and some peas - because we were too lazy to prepare any other vegetables.

The Outcome

The spiced beef was absolutely as it should be, and certainly not overcooked. It was tender and full of flavour - not at all dried out. The mashed potato was a perfect pairing.

The Verdict

If you can get your hands on a good piece of spiced beef, this is absolutely the way to cook it. Between the 5 of us, we finished off every piece. Ms Fussy Eater cut off all of the delicious spices, of course, but that's her choice. The Teenager had no such qualms and ate his dinner heartily.

No pictures, I'm afraid.

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