Guinness brisket and rarebit sandwich

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As if you need any persuading to give this a go (just look at it!)… But just in case, this is our ultimate St Patrick’s day feast. Beautifully tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef brisket slow-cooked in GUINNESS, covered in a deeply savoury GUINNESS cheese sauce. We love our sarnies, and this has to be one of the best ones yet! The GUINNESS adds an amazing savoury quality that makes it utterly moorish.

Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 8
or 4 with leftovers


Beef brisket
800g beef brisket
4 shallots
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
2 star anise
440ml Guinness
250ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp treacle
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 bulb black garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

Cheese sauce
50g plain flour
50g butter
350ml Guinness
150g mature cheddar
150g red leicester
1 tbsp English mustard

To serve
White cob loaf or similar


Season the brisket heavily with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy pan sear the beef all over on a high heat. Remove from the pan. Roughly chop the shallots, carrots celery and sweat down in the same pan with the olive oil and star anise on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft.

Add the remaining ingredients into the pan and place the beef on top, place into a pre-heated oven at 160c fan for 3 1/2 hours. Turn the beef every hour to ensure the top doesn't dry out.

One the beef is fork tender remove from the pan and rest, remove the vegetables from the sauce and reduce on a high heat until the sauce has reduced by half.

For the cheese sauce melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix well for a couple of minutes, making sure that it doesn't burn. Slowly add the Guinness to the butter, flour mixture in dashes, mixing continuously until the liquid is combined and the sauce is smooth and glossy.

Grate the cheeses and add to the mix along with the mustard. Stir on a low heat until completely melted and the sauce is beautifully smooth. Keep warm.

To serve, place a slice of brisket on a slice of toasted bread with a good helping of gravy. Top with cheese and place under the grill until the cheese is beginning to brown. Top with another slice of toast and serve with gherkins and some more gravy for dipping.

The brisket would also make a fantastic Sunday lunch, for this forgo the cheese sauce (although it's great with cauliflower too...). Serve with a buttery mash and seasonal vegetables.

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