… so without trying to sound like i’m blowing my own trumpet this is the kind of dish that if there was any justice in the world, will become the latest food fad internet sensation… it’s the kind of mind-blowing rare taste that get foodie types super-excited… like the humble hamburger or basic donut, this is a hugely simple dish that teases you whilst you’re cooking it to the point of damnation and with any luck, after reading the wonderful story behind the dish i’ll be able to persuade you to cook it for your selves… but beware, this is a very old family recipe and may not be to modern taste… you may hate it… but I doubt it very much…
… my great aunt regina was a remarkable woman… as a teenager she escaped from the jewish ghetto in warsaw just before the outbreak of the second world war and walked to paris where she became something of a notorious figure in our family history, helping many people escape the evil nazi regime into france and out of mainland europe altogether… most of her family perished in the concentration camps but she lived on and it’s because of her survival I owe my existance.
… during the war there was little if any meat to speak of and where it was available it was usually the cheapest cuts, no doubt rancid but still much needed… this dish, which has been handed down through our family must have had its influences in both france and poland but I imagine the great amount of garlic was probably to mask the smell of the meat… it was hard times.
auntie regina’s 12 hour garlic beef
so you need to find a cheap cut of beef, the skirt would have been traditionally used but a nice piece of brisket would work just as well… anything you’d normally use for a slow roast… you will also need a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid and an oven that has a low, non-fan setting of 80C… this dish can often go wrong if you don’t follow the steps but you know your own oven better than me, plus i’m giving you a ‘word of mouth’ recipe, nothing was ever written down like this so don’t be slavish to my rules either… relax into it all and enjoy the process.
I made this for 6 guests:
1 cut of brisket (approx 900g)
1 large garlic bulb (roughly 15 cloves) – peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons sea/kosher/rock salt
1 glass red wine (optional – read on…)
you need 24hrs to make this dish
start the evening before you want to eat by rubbing the beef with the crushed garlic and salt, place it in a bowl, cover with cling-film and leave to marinade until the morning
the next morning, if you want to eat at 8pm then at 8am place the marinated beef in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, pour over the wine (this is not in the original recipe but I think much needed) place the lid on tightly (you can even use a little foil too if unsure) and place in an oven on 80C (no fan) for 12 hours
after 11 hours your house should be filled the most incredible fug of garlic beef… take it out of the oven and set aside, still in the covered dish whilst you make your choice of starchy side dishes or salads, then once you’re ready to eat place the beef on a wooden board, shred and serve
you will not regret it and you will eat and of course, enjoy!
Good god man, that looks and sounds incredible. I need this.
Karen S Booth says
Fabulous tale of true bravery and heroism and a stunning recipe – saved to try soon Dom!
Recipe Junkie says
Your Aunt sounds totally awesome, as does this beef. I'll be trying this one, for sure
This is straight up my alley, although not for summertime. Will bookmark for the Fall.
Mary Callan says
What an incredible story behind the dish – she sounds like a very special lady. The beef looks amazing – I think I can almost smell it cooking!
Magnolia Verandah says
As you know I am right into slow cooking, but this sounds like the ultimate,I can just imagine how tender it was after that gentle coaxing. Thank goodness for Regina sometimes those old basics are just the best and what an amazing woman!
I love, love any kind of slow-cooked meat. This looks absolutely beautiful. Love the story about Aunt Regina also. She sounds like an amazingly strong, resilient woman. Thanks for sharing her recipe with us.
Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes says
Wow, that looks delicious.
What a wonderful woman your Great Aunt Regina must have been. And how fortunate are you to have her history. Did you get to spend much time with her while you were growing up?
belleau kitchen says
sadly she was already dead by the time I was born but her sister was alive for a long time and we would visit when we went to paris… she scared the HELL out of me!
debby emadian says
Aunty Regina sounds like my new heroin. what an amazing woman. Was that really her name? Awesome.
I don't eat red meat any more, but this is just the kind of food I miss. Mum used to slow cook steak in casseroles and it just melted in your mouth.
The rest of the family would love this and it sounds like a lovely family comfort food for when extended family and friends come down. I will bookmark this one for autumn gatherings.
Thanks for sharing.
would you like to come to Edinburgh and live with me for the next few weeks?? I could use some properly home cooked meals…no nappy changing I promise!
Rose Fern says
We make a similar dish in Greece. It's my favourite and the garlic…oh! It truly adds to the flavour!
Kay Stephenson says
A sweet and tragic tale to go with a scrumptious dish for family and friends. I will try it soon. Thanks!
Susan Lindquist says
And I am joining Kay … my buddy from high school, in complimenting you on this dish! There is nothing better than a family treasure passed on for posterity's sake! God bless that Auntie Regina! Thanks for sharing this, Dom!
Aah I love learning the stories behind recipes, especially when the person is such a strong character…
Annes S says
Darn I don't have a casserole anymore! Sold it when I moved house, wouldn't fit in new oven anyway! Shame as it looks so meltingly tender!
You should be very proud of your great auntie, she sounds like a fab woman!
Sounds beautiful. I'm bookmarking the recipe to try.
A Trifle Rushed says
An amazing lady, and a great inspiration, this is a recipe I'll try in the autumn, as always wonderfully inspiring, thanks Dom.
Ruth Ellis says
This sounds amazing – off to see if my oven goes down to 80C! And what a remarkable woman.
From Beyond My Kitchen Window says
This is the kind of recipe I live for. When the weather cools down a bit, I will be making this one for sure. I love how you served it,on a board where everyone can see. What a great woman your Aunt Regina must have been.
Mark Willis says
I like a recipe with a bit of history behind it! It's great when things like this get handed down to subsequent generations.
Phil in the Kitchen says
That's a lovely dish. Every family should have an Auntie Regina but I think that very few do. You're very lucky and clearly suitably proud.
It's in the oven now. The house is already starting to smell nice. Thank you for the recipe and the story!
belleau kitchen says
OMG how exciting… tell me how it comes out! x
It was lovely.
Longer review here or here (same review).