Traditional Spiced Beef with a twist.

I feel like I’m stepping on sacred ground as I approach the subject of spiced beef! In parts of Munster it seems the tradition of spiced beef on Christmas Eve is as revered as my mother’s boxty is at home in Fermanagh on Halloween night. I contacted my trusted butchers, O’Connell’s on Little Catherine St, to discuss the spiced beef at some length. Anton informed me that my timing was perfect as O’Connell’s had just been awarded a gold medal for their spiced beef from the Craft Butchers of Ireland’s Speciality Foods competition. So warmest congratulations to O’Connell’s Butchers! For the recipe below I use an oven cooking bag (available in most supermarkets) as it ensures the beef keeps its moistness and flavours.

(Serves 6)

1 ½ kg of spiced beef
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick
The zest and juice of two oranges
1 can of Guinness
2 bay leaves

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc. Place the beef into the cooking bag and sit into a large roasting dish. Add the carrots, celery and onion, followed by the orange juice and zest, the bay leaves and cinnamon. Add the Guinness, seal the bag and bake in the oven for two hours. Once cooked, carefully remove from the bag and wrap the beef in foil and allow to rest for half an hour. If you prefer to serve the beef cold, refrigerate once cooled
This beef is delicious served with crusty bread, potato salad (see below) and chutney or onion marmalade.

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