Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
1.25kg-1.3kg/2¾-3lb lean beef brisket joint
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 bay leaves, roughly broken
4 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
30ml/2tbsp demerara sugar
30ml/2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100g/4oz dried, ready to eat figs, left whole or halved
600ml/1pint mulled wine
30ml/2tbsp sunflower oil
175g/6oz carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
450g/1ib leeks, roughly chopped
4 small red onions, peeled and cut into quarters
Season the brisket and place in a large casserole dish. In a small bowl mix together the spices, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, figs and mulled wine. Pour over the brisket and mix to coat the joint. Cover, refrigerate and marinate for approximately 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Remove the joint from the marinade (do not discard), pat dry and brown on all sides. Return to the casserole dish with the marinade mixture and add the vegetables.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer on the hob or in the oven for 30-40 minutes per 450g/ 1lb of beef, plus 30-40 minutes.
Serve with the vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes.