A Recipe for Braised Beef, Salsa Verde and Pickled Walnuts

Charlie Hibbert, Head Chef at Thyme, shares his recipe for this real winter warmer. Melting tender braised beef in a warming red wine sauce, beautifully balanced by the tang of salsa verde and pickled walnuts; this recipe requires a low and slow cook but we promise you, it will be worth the wait.

Image credit: Great British Chefs

Described as a “village within a village”, Thyme includes a hotel, Ox Barn restaurant; spa, pool, cookery school; farm, kitchen gardens, orchards & water meadows. Charlie Hibbert oversees the Ox Barn, where you will also find bespoke John Julian tableware made especially for Thyme.

Braised Beef, Salsa Verde and Pickled Walnuts

Ingredients

1kg beef (choose a nice cut, suitable for braising, such as chuck or topside)
2 tbsp of beef dripping or vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled & chopped into large chunks
2 sticks of celery, chopped into large chunks
1 head of fennel, chopped into quarters
4-6 cloves of garlic, skin on & bashed down with the flat side of a knife
2 bay leaves
A small bunch of rosemary and thyme, around 2 to 3 sticks each, tied tightly together with butcher’s twine
⅓ of a bottle of red wine
500ml of beef or chicken stock
Maldon salt flakes & pepper

For the salsa verde

2 large handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp of capers
12 anchovies
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
Best extra virgin olive oil

350g jar of Opies pickled walnuts, sliced

Method

Preheat your oven to 150°C/ 130°C fan/ gas mark 2. 

Cut the beef into large chunks, around 4-6cm and season with salt. Place a large heavy based pot (big enough to fit everything in) over a medium high heat and brown the beef in the dripping or oil. Take your time to make sure the meat is evenly browned. Once all of the beef is nicely browned, remove it from the pan and set it to one side. Gently brown the onion, celery, fennel and garlic in the pot with the residual fat. When everything is nicely caramelised, add the herbs and pour in the red wine. Let the vegetables and wine simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the stock and bring it back up to temperature. Cut a round of baking paper, the size of the pot. Add the beef back into the pot, and put the round of paper on top of the braise. Cover the pot with tinfoil, then with a lid, and put it in the oven for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender but still holding its shape.

Shortly before the beef is done, make the salsa verde. Chop the parsley well, followed by the capers, anchovies and garlic. Put into a bowl and cover with olive oil and a splash of the vinegar from the pickled walnuts. 

Once the braise is ready, remove it from the oven, and separate the cooked beef (and put to one side) from the stock and vegetables. Discard the vegetables and reduce the stock by around two thirds or until you have a thick and glossy sauce. Put the beef back into the stock and add the sliced pickled walnuts. When you are ready to serve, stir through the salsa verde. Serve the beef in bowls alongside creamy mashed potatoes.