Immortalised by the old music hall song, this is a truly traditional Cockney dish. The length of time the meat is soaked depends on how salty it is; check with the butcher. The greyish colour turns an appetising pink when cooked.
1.6 kg (3 1/2 lb) lean salted silverside or brisket of beef
6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 small onions, skinned and quartered 8 cloves
2 small turnips, peeled and quartered
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 leek, trimmed, chopped and washed
18 small carrots
1. If necessary, soak the meat in cold water for several hours or overnight, then rinse. Tie up into a neat joint.
2. Place the beef in a large saucepan, add just enough water to cover and bring slowly to the boil. Skim the surface, add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, onions, each quarter stuck with a clove, turnip, celery and leek. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for about
3. Add the small carrots and simmer gently for a further 30 - 40 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
4. Carefully transfer the beef and small carrots to a warmed serving plate and keep warm.
5. Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquor, then strain. Boil the liquid to reduce slightly, then pour into a warmed sauceboat or jug.
6. Serve the beef surrounded by the carrots, with the sauce handed separately. Accompany with peas and mashed potatoes or dumplings.
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