A sure winner for pleasing a crowd without breaking the bank

OK, so you might be asking yourself, ‘where’s Lou’s usual ramble before a recipe appears?‘ or you might simply be relieved to see a recipe pop up straight away without having to be dragged into the strange thoughts and world that I live in.

Either way, it’s not a mistake that you’ve landed on this post without the usual chatter, I just wanted to make sure this recipe didn’t get lost… it does exist mind you – the chatter.

So if you have a spare moment as you travel on your morning commute, have to wait for someone or are simply a little bored, then check out this post on ideas to make entertaining easy.

Otherwise, dive straight into making this brisket… it’s a winner. Enjoy.

Slow-Cooked Bloody Mary Brisket

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Cost ££


  • 1 x 1 kg beef brisket
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1 head of celery
  • 4 red onions (white onions if you don't have red)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (dried is fine as well)


  • 1 x 700 g jar of passata (but I often just use two cans of tomatoes if I don't have passata)
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • several drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 4 tbsp vodka (you can buy little bottles to keep in your store cupboard, if like me you're more of a gin drinker)
  • 1 good squeeze of a lemon


  • Turn the oven on to 130ºC/250ºF/gas ½
  • Put a casserole dish on a medium heat while you season your brisket all over with salt and pepper. The add the brisket to the pan with a splash of oil and cook until brown all over (approx 10 mins or so).
  • Now, cut the celery into chunks, peel and cut the onions into quarters and throw into the casserole dish. Cook on a low heat now until they have softened (approx. 5 – 10 minutes)
  • Make up the Bloody Mary sauce by mixing all the ingredients together into a jug. Pour the sauce, along with 250ml of cold water, into the pan
  • Take your rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and tie a bouquet garni then pop into the pan as well. Now bring everything to the boil
  • Finally, turn off the heat and cut large piece of grease proof paper (wet it quickly under the tap) to place directly onto the surface of the food. It's chef-y name is a 'cartouche' and it's there to help prevent evaporation of skins forming
  • Put the lid on your casserole dish or cover with tin foil if you don't have a lid and slow cook for 6 hours or more, or until the beef falling apart.
  • Use two folks to break up the beef and have pulled beef brisket
  • Serve and see everyone's faces light up!


Check on the brisket over the course of the cooking and if it’s getting dry, add some more water or sometimes I add another tin of tomatoes with a bit of water