Spiced Beef. Kale with Garlic and Lemon. White Wine Smashed Potatoes. High Five For Hiva Oa.

Spiced Beef. Kale with Garlic and Lemon. White Wine Smashed Potatoes.


For me, Spiced Beef was love at first bite.

I was newly engaged and spending my first Christmas with my husband-to-be’s family in Ireland.

One of the dishes that was served on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, was Spiced Beef. I was completely captivated by the fragrant, exceedingly tender meat redolent with cloves, pepper and other spices.

I picked up a bunch of Irish cookbooks and set about trying to make my own Spiced Beef.

This recipe is my favorite of the ones that I have tried and I now look no further.

Get the spicing going about 2 weeks before you plan to serve the beef. I did mine yesterday, so all I have to do is turn the beef once a day until I am ready to cook it on St. Stephen’s Day.

Spiced Beef is traditionally served cold and thinly sliced with an assortment of chutneys and sauces. I think it is terrific warm, too.

Last year I served the beef with a lemony kale side dish that had a kick from garlic and also a boozy potato mash that was quite delicious.

Spiced Beef
Spiced Beef

Ingredients to spice the beef:

4-6 lbs beef-top or bottom round or brisket, boned and rolled
1 lb coarse salt (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 ounce saltpeter ( I never bother to find this, so I omit it)
1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
1 tsp black peppercorns
12 juniper berries
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
2 bay leaves
1/4 onion, finely chopped

Ingredients to cook the beef:

1 onion, peeled and studded with 4 cloves
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
12 whole peppercorns
Large bunch of fresh herbs including parsley and thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 cups Guinness stout
Chutney, cumberland sauce or sweet chilli sauce to serve


1. Combine beef with the rest of the ingredients. (I do this in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and turn and shake the bag to mix well. Otherwise, put into a large bowl and cover it.)

2. Place in the refrigerator. Turn the beef daily (or shake the bag) to rub in the spices. Do this for 14 to 17 days.

3. When you are ready to cook the beef, rinse the spice mix off in cold water. Place beef in a large pot and cover with cold water.

4. Bring water to the boil, skimming as necessary. Add the ingredients to cook the beef, except for the Guinness. Return to the boil, then reduce heat and continue to cook partially covered for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (Brisket should be cooked for 4-5 hours). Add Guinness for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

5. Remove beef from the cooking liquid and roll tightly in waxed paper and aluminum foil. Chill in the refrigerator.
Note: I love how the beef tastes warm. So, the night I cook it we eat it warm with some vegetable dishes on the side. The next few days we eat it cold, in very thin slices.

6. Slice the spiced beef thinly and serve with chutney, cumberland sauce or sweet chilli sauce. Accompany with a green salad and boiled small potatoes, or a cold pasta salad, rice, couscous or your choice of accompaniment.

Serves 12

Recipe from In An Irish Country Kitchen by Clare Connery

Kale with Garlic and Lemon
Kale with Garlic and Lemon


Kosher salt
4 lbs Tuscan kale or 2 lbs regular kale, stemmed, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
10 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring an 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, boil the kale just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well.

2. Put the oil and garlic in the pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden, about 6 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high, add the kale and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 12

Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

Spiced Beef. Kale with GarWhite Wine Smashed Potatoes
White Wine Smashed Potatoes


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Sea salt
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 oz (2 Tbs) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, wine, 1 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper, and 1-1/2 tsp water. The potatoes should be nearly submerged.

3. Bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring about every 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and the liquid is reduced to a slightly thick sauce, about 45 minutes. If the liquid cooks away too fast, add water as needed.

4. With a potato masher, smash the potatoes just enough to break some and leave others intact. Stir together the potatoes and sauce and season to taste with more salt or pepper. Serve sprinkled with the parsley and dotted with the butter.

Serves 12

Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

This is what the beef looks like when cold. Yum.
Spiced Beef
Spiced Beef. Kale with Garlic and Lemon. White Wine Smashed Potatoes.

I heard Badger for the first time today while listening to this podcast. I was instantly taken by the layers of sound, the messiness in the middle and the overall dreamy quality of the song. Ominous, intoxicating music at its best.

Check out Hiva Oa on the band’s Website, where you can also buy their music.


About I Sing In The Kitchen

Music obsessed cooking freak whipping up fab food one song at at time.
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