Changing the conversation about health

Slow Pot-Roast Grass Fed Beef with Nettles – chosen by Patrick Holden CBE


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Patrick Holden, of the Sustainable Food Trust recommended this recipe at our Food. the forgotten Medicine conference.

Follow the work of @SusFoodTrust.

Slow cooking is fantastic for the cheaper joints of
beef and is perfect to prepare ahead and then forget
about until dinner.

Stinging nettle contains ingredients that might decrease inflammation. Preliminary studies have also shown they may be beneficial for kidney health.


Preheat the oven to
200 – 220 °C


Top side, silver side or brisket joint of beef
Bouquet garni (rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, sage and anything else you might have in the garden or window box)
Sea salt & black pepper
Half quantity of red wine or beer and half stock (or just stock if that’s all you’ve got in)
Deep roasting tin with lid or deep roasting tin with layer of greaseproof then foil


1. Massage some oil into joint then season with salt and pepper
2. Place in roasting tin uncovered and put into hot oven for half an hour to brown. Turn down oven to simmering heat – 150 degrees, remove tin and move to medium to hot heat hob, add half the wine/beer
and half stock or all stock – enough to come two thirds of the way up the joint.
3. Add bouquet garni and bring to boil. Put lid on or cover tightly with greaseproof and foil and put back into low oven for a few hours (at least three) or all day if you are out.
4. Twenty minutes before serving, remove joint to rest (covered in foil or with a lid over it) and boil down and reduce the liquid on the hob. Remove the bouquet garni and season to taste.
5. The meat will be melt in the mouth tender but you won’t be able to carve thin slices – just cut it apart and serve in portions  with the gravy.
6. Variations – you could add root veg (peeled and cut into smallish chunks) or chopped up dried prunes or apricots (to add sweetness) at the same time as the bouquet garni.
7. Serve with roast or mashed potatoes and seasonal greens or best of all nettles. Their clean astringency balances the melt in the mouth meat perfectly. Harvest (with gloves) just the new growth tops – top two to three leaves only. Remove any grass or insects, wash in a colander (this will be enough
moisture to cook them) then add to a generous knob of butter melted in a pan on a medium to hot heat and wilt quickly(less time than spinach)