For the onions:
- You can prepare the pickled onions in advance, at least two days is ideal. To do this, cut the baby onions in half, length-ways, and remove the roots.
- Break the onions down into their ‘shells’ and set aside in a bowl.
- Meanwhile, bring the water, vinegar, beetroot juice and sugar to the boil.
- Pour over the onions and place into a clean sterilised jar, and place into a fridge to pickle.
For the beef:
- To prepare the brine for the beef, place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to boil to dissolve the salt. Once boiled remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- When fully cooled place the beef brisket into the brine and allow to sit refrigerated for 6 hours. Remove from the brine and wash under cold running water for 5 minutes to remove the excess salt.
- Pat dry with a kitchen cloth, then sear the beef in a hot pan until golden brown on all sides.
- Place the beef into a deep baking tray and cover with the veal stock, ensuring the beef is fully covered. Cover with tin foil and place into an oven at 90⁰C for 8 hours.
- Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before removing the beef from its cooking liquid (reserve this to one side), cover and place in the fridge to fully chill.
For the sauce:
- Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and place into a saucepan on a medium heat.
- Reduce the liquid until it has reached a sauce consistency, occasionally skimming any excess fat off the top during the reduction process. Set to one side.
For the mash:
- Bring the potatoes to boil in salted water and simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked. At the same time melt the butter, and in a separate saucepan, warm through the cream.
- Pass the cooked potatoes through a ricer or drum sieve, and add the warm smoked butter. With a spatula, slowly add the warm cream to the mash. Season to taste.
- Preheat an oven to 180⁰C. Remove the pickled onions from the fridge to bring to room temperature.
- Once the beef has fully set, cut into portion sized pieces (approximately 170g), and place into an ovenproof pan with a ladle of sauce and a knob of butter.
- Cover with a cartouche (a circular damp piece of greaseproof paper), and cook for 10 minutes to warm the beef through.
- Place the braised beef on top of the mash and garnish with the pickled onions, spoon over some of the sauce and garnish with nasturtium leaves for freshness and acidity.
Indulge in more comforting Autumnal creations by Head Chef Will Stanyer at the Battersea neighborhood restaurant and bar, London House.