Slow Cooked Gin & Tomato Scotch Beef Brisket

Slow Cooked Gin & Tomato Scotch Beef Brisket

Meet Rachel Phipps, a young powerhouse of a woman who’s a dab hand in the kitchen and our guest blogger this week. When she’s not busy doing political things in parliament (yes, that much of a powerhouse) or globetrotting, she’s cooking up recipes and blogging about them all in her food lover’s diary.

We met the lovely Rachel last year when we lured her away from her Kentish home to Edinburgh for the Great Scotch Beef Meat Up. So I was chuffed to get this recipe from her for Slow Cooked Gin & Tomato Scotch Beef Brisket. I’m loving it already, and I haven’t even made it yet, because I’m a sucker for anything slow-cooked… those words promise velvety meat that melts in the mouth. Plus, the recipe uses two of my favourite ingredients in this dish (subtlety has never been my strongest point, so you can guess which those are).

The heart of the dish is the brisket cut of Scotch Beef. Its gorgeous marbling gives it a juicy flavour and texture, and with no bone, there’s no carving to do. It cooks for 5-6 hours in a mixture of passata, gin, juniper berries, lemon juice, with dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Finally, at the end of the cooking, if the succulent brisket hasn’t already tumbled into the sauce around it, you can help it along with a little shredding of your own.


Slow Cooked Gin & Tomato Scotch Beef Brisket

Serves 4-6

  • 900g-1kg (approx. 2 lb) piece of Scotch Beef brisket
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Generous splash light olive oil
  • 1 x 700g jar passata or 2 x 400g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp gin
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 generous dashes Tabasco
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary
  • 5 dried juniper berries


Remove the beef from the fridge about half an hour before you’re planning to cook it so it comes up to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Heat a heavy bottomed, lidded casserole dish over a high heat with a splash of oil. Cut off any trussing from the beef, and season it well all over with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Brown the beef on all sides, before adding the passata or tinned tomatoes, gin, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, rosemary sprigs and juniper berries to the pan. Pour over enough cold water so that the meat is just covered (this typically will be half the passata jar/one of the tomato tins full) and season well with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil, and then remove from the heat. Put on the lid, and leave in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, until the beef is tender.


Depending on your beef, the size of your casserole dish and what sort of oven you’re using, you may have an intense, reduced sauce already. If not, you can ladle out enough liquid so it comes only half way up the piece of beef before you shred it and mix it into the sauce with two forks. Return to the oven while you’re preparing the rest of your meal, ready to serve.

Right, I’m off to the butchers 😉 Thanks again to Rachel. And happy cooking to everyone else!

Suzie x

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