1kgfloury potatoes – such as Maris Piper or Albert Bartlettchopped into large chunks (no need to peel)
3large carrotspeeled and roughly chopped into large chunks
10 ½oz(300g) trimmed fresh green beans
2tbspcornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 5 tbsp cold water
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Heat the oil on high in a large frying pan (or use the sear function of your crockpot if it has one like mine - check it out here).
Sprinkle the salt, pepper and celery salt on the beef joint and place in the pan. Cook, turning every few minutes until well browned on all sides. This should take about 10-12 minutes altogether.
Add the thyme, garlic, red wine and stock and bring to the boil.
If you've been using a pan so far, now is the time to transfer the beef brisket to the crockpot and pour over the juices from the pan.
Add the potatoes, carrots and shallots. Place the lid on and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
About 20 minutes before the beef is ready, add the green beans to the slow cooker. This should allow them to cook lightly, so they still have a bit of crunch and retain their bright green colour.
Turn off the crockpot and transfer the beef, carrots, shallots and green beans to a large serving dish.
Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash together with the butter and cream. I like to leave the skins on, but you can peel the skins off before mashing if you prefer.
Transfer the cooking juices to a pan (or use the sear function on your crockpot if it has one) and bring to the boil.
Slow pour in the cornflour whilst stirring, until the sauce is thickened. You may not need all of the cornstarch.
Slice the beef brisket and serve with the vegetables, mashed potato and red wine gravy.
Note 1: Slow cooked brisket often crumbles (not in a dry way – rather in a juicy, fall-apart way when cooked slowly. If you prefer a meat that holds together better, use a beef roasting joint such as silverside. Try to find one with a little fat running through it for flavour).
What joint of beef is best for slow cooker?
Brisket - from the breast or lower chest of beef.
This is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat, but it can be tough if not cooked in the right way. It's got a moderate amount of fat, but that helps keep the meat juicy. It's basically made of the chest muscle and is a coarse-grained meat that needs long, slow low-temperature to tenderize. That course-grained type of meat means it's often used for US-style corned beef, and it can crumble when cut (not in a dry way – rather in a juicy, fall-apart way when cooked slowly). So thick slices are the way to go if you don't want it to fall apart when slicing.
Chuck Roast (braising steak joint) - comes from the forequarter- Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm.
It's a tough but very flavorful cut of meat. It has a lot of connective tissue, which needs long slow cooking to break down and become tender. Unlike the crumbliness of brisket, chuck roast can be shredded (pulled) into strips.
Silverside (bottom round) - comes from the hindquarter - just above the back leg
It's a leaner, inexpensive cut of meat with little marbling. The lack of fat means it doesn't have as much flavour as the brisket or chuck roast, so make sure you use good quality stock to cook it in. It's good for slow cooking, but must be cooked with moisture/liquid so doesn't dry out and become tough. Silverside can be sliced without falling apart too much.