Recipe: Juniper & Balsamic Corned Beef with Horseradish Béchamel

Most of us have fond memories of a glistening hunk of corned beef sitting steaming in the centre of the table, surrounded by steamed vegetables and a pot of thick, white sauce.

Reinventing this winter classic, this recipe gives the beef a sharp, peppery crust that warms the heart and brings the palette to life. Simmering in balsamic for several hours adds richness and cuts through the silverside’s saltiness.

This beautiful recipe will fog the kitchen windows and your glasses.

Ingredients

Serves 6 (with leftovers)
FOR THE SPICE MIX
1.5 tbsp The Essential Ingredient Juniper Berries View
1.5 tbsp The Essential Ingredient Whole Black Peppercorns View
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
FOR THE BRAISING LIQUID
2kg uncooked corned silverside
400mL The Essential Ingredient Balsamic Vinegar of Modena View
100g tomato paste
300g brown sugar
6 bay leaves
250mL chicken stock
500mL water
FOR THE BÉCHAMEL
60g butter
2 tbsp plain flour
500mL milk
A few additional black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 tsp Zimmy's Barossa Valley Produce Horseradish View

For the spice paste:

Use a mortar & pestle to crush the peppercorns & juniper berries, then add garlic and grind a rough paste is formed.

For the corned beef:

One day before cooking, evenly rub the spice paste onto the surface of the corned beef until roughly covered. Seal in a container (or several layers of plastic wrap) and leave in the fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 190. Combine balsamic, tomato paste, brown sugar, bay leaves, stock and water in a cast iron pot.

Place the beef, fat side down, into the pot, cover with the lid, and roast for 1 ½ hours.

After that time, turn the beef upside down (carefully), cover with lid again and cook one hour.

Remove meat from pot and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.

For the Horseradish Béchamel:

In a small pot, combine the milk with the whole peppercorns, bay leaves and onion. Heat over a low flame until almost boiling, then remove from heat.

In another pot, melt the butter over a medium/low heat, then add the flour. Stir for approx.. 5 minutes until the mix begins to brown slightly.

Strain the milk into jug (discarding the strained solids) then add milk in a steady stream while whisking.

Continue to cook the sauce over a medium heat until it thickens slightly. Add the horseradish and season to taste.

Slice meat thickly and serve with sauce, buttered potatoes and steamed vegetables.

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