We had a bit of a crisis last year, when I wanted to do spiced beef for Christmas and realised that due to our stoopid anti-terrorism laws, combined with nanny health and safety, you can't get saltpetre any more. Which my best recipes call for. I trawled the net and found some without, and fettled with them until I had one merged one I was happy to try. The result certainly went down well.
Start with a small joint of silverside, about 4 lbs in weight.
Process together to a coarse powder:
- 4 oz muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 3 tbsp coarse salt
- 20 gms peppercorns
- 20 gms allspice berries
- 20 gms juniper berries
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
Roll the beef in the powder, put in a dish and cover with cling film. Put in the fridge for 2 days, turning every morning and evening, rubbing the paste back in.
Tip into a roasting tray and add a glass of red wine. Roast at Gas Mark 6 for about an hour, loosely covered with foil. Remove from the tray as soon as it comes out of the oven, put in a suitable dish, weight and press until cold.
Serve cold but not chilled, in thin slices.