Salt Beef, Bay, Thyme

Take beef brisket and create some tasty salt beef with this frugal recipe. The beef is enhanced with the likes of fennel seeds, bay leaves and fresh thyme.

The Kitchen Orchard
From the book The Kitchen Orchard


How you serve this and how many it serves is entirely up to you. I make it to have it in the fridge, like a cured ham. It sits in its cooking liquor and I whip it out for sandwiches and snacks as required. It will keep about 5–7 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Serves roughly 6-8 (but see above)


2kg brined beef brisket (this should be available from a good butcher)
6 bay leaves
4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 head garlic, halved horizontally through the middle
1 red onion, quartered
1 tsp dried chilli
1 rosemary branch
½ bunch fresh thyme
3 celery sticks
1 tbsp black peppercorns


Rinse the brisket in cold water a couple of times to remove any excess brine.

Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cover with water. The water level should come to at least 2.5cm above the top of the pot’s contents. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3–3½ hours or until the meat is very tender.

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