Boiled Salt Beef with Parsley and Horseradish Dumplings

Banish the winter blues with Tamasin Day Lewis's comfort food; meltingly tender boiled beef and light-as-air dumplings with surprise horseradish centre
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Boiled Salt Beef with Parsley and Horseradish Dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the beef

  • 1.5 kg salted silverside or brisket beef
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves
  • small blade mace
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg
  • 12 bruised black peppercorns

For the dumplings

  • 110 g self-raising flour
  • 55 g suet
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp hot horseradish


1. Place the beef into a pot that will allow room for the onions but still provide a fairly snug fit.

2. Leave the onions unpeeled, push the cloves evenly into them and tuck them down by the beef.

3. Put in the spices and peppercorns and cover the beef with warm water to cover by 1 centimetre. Bring to simmer point and cook at a bare blip for 3 1/2 hours, skimming as necessary throughout the cooking time. If the cooking water tastes really salty after the first 10 minutes, drain it and start again. The water should not boil at any stage, so cover the pot only when you are happy the pot is burbling not bubbling.

4. Remove the meat to a warmed serving dish and keep it hot.

5. Pour half of the beef cooking liquid into a separate pan and simmer to reduce and thicken.

6. Tom make the dumplings, sieve the flour into a bowl and mix in the suet.

7. Add the herbs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Slowly add cold water and mix with a spoon to a slightly sticky but not too wet dough, finally gathering the mixture into a ball by hand.

9. With lightly floured hands, form the mixture into walnut sized dumplings, pushing a teaspoon tip of horseradish into the center before you start rolling.

10. Poach the dumplings in the remaining cooking liquor from the beef.

11. Just before serving, reheat the beef and dumplings gently together and serve with the reduced sauce, some mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

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