Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Salt beef and horseradish mash

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 8
From Something for the Weekend
Salt beef has a wonderfully unique flavour and is perfect paired with horseradish mash.


  1. For the brine, place all of the brine ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with 5 litres/8¾ pints of water. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

  2. Place the beef into a large non-metallic container and pour over the cooled brine, (ensure the beef is submerged in the brine). Set aside somewhere cool, preferably the fridge, for 3-5 days. After the soaking time in the brine, rinse the beef brisket and soak in cold water for 24 hours.

  3. Rinse the beef brisket and place into a large saucepan with the vegetables. Cover the brisket completely with cold water and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-2½ hours, or until the beef is very tender. Drain well.

  4. Meanwhile for the horseradish mash, boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water, for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pan and heat over a low heat for 10-15 seconds to drive off any excess moisture.

  5. Mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher or ricer, then beat in the butter. Stir in the horseradish and chives and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. To serve, carve the beef into thick slices and serve with the horseradish mash, vegetables and gherkins.


  • 2kg/4lb 6½oz beef brisket joint, tied

For the brine

  • 500g/1lb 2oz demerara sugar
  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz sea salt
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • sprig fresh thyme

For the vegetables

  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut into wedges
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • handful fresh parsley
  • handful fresh thyme

For the horseradish mash

  • 500g/17½oz potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 150g/5¼oz butter
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • gherkins, to serve

Shopping List

Salt beef and horseradish mash

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry


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