Traditional Aberdeenshire Boiling Beef - basic method

by Matthias Schmitt

Speciality of Aberdeenshire.


2.5l water
Boiling beef cut of your choice; Rolled Beef Chuck, Faux Fillet of Beef or Featherblade of Beef
2 carrots
1 parsnip
Half a celeriac
1 tsp salt
1 bayleaf
1 onion, halved and browned on cut sides until caramelised
5 smashed black peppercorns
3 parsley stems
2 spring onions
1 tbsp chopped chives
Sea salt

Traditional Aberdeenshire Boiling Beef - basic method


Bring 2.5l water to the boil. Add the beef cut of your choice, salt, bay leaf, peppercorns and halved browned onions.

Tie parsley stems and spring onions together and add to the pan.

Cover and simmer for 3 hours, skimming off any foam which gathers on the surface from time to time.

Peel vegetables and cut into 2cm chunks. Add to the water and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked but hold their shape.

When the meat is tender, lift it out of the stock and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it against the grain and serve on a warmed platter with a little of the stock and veg.

Garnish with sea salt and chopped chives.

Chef’s tip:
Traditionally, more vegetables and pearl barley would be added to stock left from boiling the joint of beef, turning it into a light yet satisfying beef broth soup. This would be served as a starter, or as lunch, with the tender boiled beef sliced and served with boiled tatties (potatoes) and leafy greens as the main meal.

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