November 22, 2010

Gorgeous Spiced Beef

We used to always have spiced beef at Christmas when I was small. I always haaaated it. To me it was like a weird mix of Christmas pudding spices and Sunday roast. Why??! Such a weird combination. But this year I found myself drawn to it. I had to have spiced beef. O'Farrells Butchers in Midleton, Cork are brilliant and they always have gorgeous cuts of meat and can do anything with it for you. I was going into them last week for lamb shoulder and as I came in they were hanging up a sign saying 'All Ireland Spiced Beef Champions 2009'  and it just hit me. Like in a film. I had to get spiced beef. But theirs wasn't ready yet as they were doing a big batch to send to this years Spiced Beef Championships so I had to go without.

Then on Saturday I went to O'Flynns Butchers on Marlboro Street in Cork and there she was. The last bit of spiced beef. They also gave handouts of how to cook your beef. And the butcher said ' Don't over cook it and then use it like Pastrami'. With his words ringing in my ears I cooked the beef and made a batch of massive sandwiches with cucumber, tomato & cold mayonnaise. Traditionally it'd be eaten with white sauce, boiled potatoes and cabbage etc. but the pastrami advice was the best ever.

The Directions on the leaflet:
Place the meat in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook gently for 20-25 mins per lb. Allow to cool. (I remember the spiced beef boiling away for hours when I was small but the piece I cooked only took 40 mins!)
Serve cold cut into thin slices.
Spiced beef can also be roasted for 20-25 mins per lb. This method gives the meat a spicier flavour.

Of course you can also spice your own beef but I think it's best left to the professionals and I'm happy to just support my local butcher with this one! (ie. I'll try and make it myself next year!)
Lilly x


  1. I don't think I've seen this before, sounds gorgeous!

  2. That sandwich looks so good. I was never a huge fan of spiced beef as a child either but have developed a taste for it as I get older. I can't wait to try the pastrami thing this Christmas... oh I can just see all the sandwiches on St Stephen's Day.

  3. We always had it with turkey and ham, 2 types of stuffing (potato and breadcrumb) and my mammy's amazing roast potatoes on Christmas day (I could never manage the whole plate. Usually left half for that evening!). No sauces or anything just there on the plate, cold and nummy. I need to go buy some now!

  4. With left over spiced beef I always chop it up, add some wensleydale cheese (with cranberries), add some chopped bacon, spinach and some garlic butter (or any other type of more suitable flavoured butter). Use it as a calazone filling. Tis gorgeous altogether!

  5. Thanks girls!x
    Little Miss S: Great idea for a calzone filling, yum. My god. Sounds lovely!

  6. Thanks Lilly. What do he mean "Use it like Pastrami"? Cold sliced instead of hot? I'm looking forward to spicing my own this year to go with roast duck and home grown chicken. Hey, wait, I have a big venison roast in the freezer... now that might be interesting.

  7. Hi Neil, Yeah I mean use it in cold sliced in sandwiches. Spiced venison is a great idea! I'd say half the country have venison in the freezer,it takes up so much space too. Let me know how you get on!

  8. I also hated spiced beef when I was young but I think it was because my mother always overcooked it. I had it properly cooked for the first time a few years ago and now love it. Sliced thinly, on crusty bread with wholegrain mustard...mmm.


Let me know what you think!x