You will need to start this recipe 3 days ahead to marinate the beef.
1 kg trimmed eye of silverside
40 g lard or butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
8 gingernut biscuits, roughly crushed
bread dumplings, to serve (optional)
250 ml (1 cup) dry red wine
375 ml (1½ cups) red wine vinegar
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp black peppercorns, roughly crushed
1 tbsp juniper berries*, roughly crushed
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp pickling spices*
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make marinade, combine all ingredients in a large bowl with 1litre water and 1 tsp salt. Place beef in marinade, adding more water if necessary so meat is fully immersed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 days.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove beef from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. Reserve 1litre marinade and set aside.
Heat lard in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook beef, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, carrots and celery to pan and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Return beef to pan and pour over reserved marinade. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook in oven for 2 hours or until beef is tender. Transfer beef to a plate, cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes.
Strain marinade, discarding solids, and place in a saucepan over low heat. Add biscuits and whisk for 10 minutes or until biscuits have dissolved and sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine sieve. Slice beef and serve with sauce and bread dumplings, if desired.
* Juniper berries, from selected supermarkets and delis, have a piquant flavour. Substitute black peppercorns.
* Pickling spice mixes commonly contain mustard seeds, black peppercorns and cloves, among other spices. Available from supermarkets and delis.
DRINK Weihenstephan Tradition Bayrisch Dunkel, Bavaria, Germany (500 ml, $6)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg75.
Photography by John Laurie.