My godmother who bought me Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI cookbook raves about this recipe, so I thought it was worth a shot. A word of warning, there’s a little bit of prep involved (possibly a day before job), but it’s so worth it.
Nuggets of breadcrumbed shredded brisket, fused with Asian flavours. Plus a sticky sweet reduction for dipping or drizzling, and a crunchy, fragrant coleslaw to make your mouth water. It’s actually phenomenal.
It easily feeds six people as a main course – we were cooking for four, but we had plenty left over for our own dinner the next day. And I’ve found the sweet coleslaw is a tasty accompaniment with other Asian dishes (Thai chicken bake, for example). This recipe is almost to the book, minus a couple of substitutes from my kitchen cupboard.
- 1.3kg beef brisket
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil, plus around 800ml to fry the croquettes
- 1.2 litres of Asian master stock (make this up before starting the recipe)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2cm dice
- 3 banana shallots, peeled and cut into 1/2cm dice
- 1 medium celery stick, cut into 1/2cm dice
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 tbsp full-fat milk
- 150g panko breadcrumbs
- 50g plain flour
- 2 limes, quartered
- salt and pepper
For the Asian coleslaw:
- 40g caster sugar or palm sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp rice wine or rice vinegar
- 50ml lime juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded
- 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 red chillis, thinly sliced
- coriander leaves, chopped
- mint leaves, chopped
How to cook
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas. Rub 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper all over the beef, making sure that both sides get covered. Put two tablespoons of oil into a medium casserole pot and place on a medium-high heat. Add the beef, fat side down and cook for 10 minutes to seal all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Wipe the pot clean and pour in the stock. Bring it to the boil and lower the beef skin-side up. Place a sheet of baking parchment on top and a plate to weigh down the brisket, cover the pan with a lid and cook in the oven for 3.5 – 4 hours. At this point the meat should be tender and easily fall apart. Remove from the oven, take off the lid and leave the meat to cool in the pan for at least an hour (I left it overnight).
Next remove the meat from the stock and set aside. Strain the stock through a sieve, wipe the pot clean and then return the strained stock to the boil on a medium-high heat. Boil it for 8-10 minutes until about half the liquid – 200-250ml – is left and it has become a consistency of a thick syrup. Don’t thicken it too much or it will become bitter. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium frying pan, add the carrots, shallots and celery and saute on a medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. While this is frying, use your hands to pull off and discard the fat from the meat and shred the brisket meat, so it’s almost like shredded pulled pork. Place it in a large mixing bowl with the cooked vegetables and 100ml of the master stock reduction and mix it all together. Shape the mixture into small, flat, round patties weighing 40g each – it is worth weighing them as you go along as this will make sure the mixture goes further. You should be able to make around 24. Place the patties on a parchment-lined tray and pop in the fridge to firm them up for an hour.
Once they have set, mix together the beaten eggs and milk in a bowl. Pour breadcrumbs into another bowl and the flour into another bowl. Then start to coat the croquettes – flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Set them aside until they are ready to cook.
To make the coleslaw, place the caster sugar in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and place on a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, stir in the rice wine, lime juice and olive oil plus 1.5 teaspoons of salt and a grind of black pepper. Place all of the remaining ingredients for the salad in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas. Pour enough oil into a saute pan or wok so that it rises 2cm up the sides. Place on a medium-high heat and when it starts to smoke add a batch of croquettes and cook each one for 3-4 minutes turning once so that both sides are golden-brown. Transfer the croquettes to a baking tray and cook the remaining batches, adding more oil if needed. Once all of the croquettes are on the tray place in the oven for 8 minutes or until the meat is heated through. While they are in the oven, place the sticky sweet masterstock reduction in a small pan on a medium heat and warm through.
Serve up the croquettes (around 4-5 each) onto plates, drizzle with the warm reduction and serve with the slaw, and a wedge of lime.