This is probably our favourite way to eat beef. We love how tender and flavoursome it is, how easy it is to prepare, and how budget friendly it is.
Top blade is one of those “butchers secrets cuts”. When Ben was learning butchery from a retired master butcher, and great friend, Brian, who is sadly no longer with us, he learnt all about the true “best bits”. This was priceless information! Brian would tell him, with a twinkle in his eye “we used to keep this bit for ourselves”! So that speaks volumes!
Top blade is from the shoulder blade, and being one of the “cheaper cuts”, you would typically pot roast or slow cook it like you would a brisket, but because it’s from the shoulder it’s leaner, yet definitely not lacking in flavour and juiciness. Because it’s very rich, I don’t think it needs a heavy accompaniment like potatoes. We prefer to serve it with a selection of roasted root veg and boiled or steamed greens, making it a big plate full of healthy and hearty deliciousness, but one that doesn’t need to be confined to winter. This recipe is incredibly simple, and really lets the flavour of the beef shine through.
1 kg Top Blade of Beef (serves 4)
Rapeseed oil (1tbsp)
3 cloves garlic
sea salt & pepper
A deep oven or casserole dish & a large frying pan
How to make it delicious:
1. Pre heat the oven to 140oc
2. Sear the beef. Heat the rapeseed oil in the frying pan over a high heat. Rub a little sea salt and pepper into the beef. Squash the garlic cloves and put in the pan. Add the beef to the pan, fat side down and sizzle and keep turning in the pan, with the garlic, until it’s browned all over.
3. Transfer the the beef and garlic to the oven dish. Pour in cold water until the water level is about a third of the way up the side of the beef. Cover with foil or a lid. Put in the over for 5 hours. Check from time to time that the water hasn’t evaporated, top up with a little more of so.
4. For the final 20 minutes, remove the foil/lid and turn the heat in the oven up to 190oc.
5. Revove carefully from the oven dish, it might be so tender it falls apart a little. I served this with roasted butternut and carrots and boiled broccoli and spring greens, and of course gravy. Any leftover meat can be used for multiple things; to add to sandwiches or salads, to make a Chilli, to add to vegetable rice, put in fajitas, the list is endless.
This recipe might sound simple. That’s because it is. It’s all about letting the quality of the beef come through and not get crowded out. Good ingredients don’t need a lot of dressing up!