• Feel Good
  • 27th Jul 2022
  • 0
  • 3 minutes

Mid-week meal: Hot salt-beef bagel

Hot, succulent and full of flavour, this light lunch is the ultimate comfort food. It’s quite a long process but it’s well worth the wait.

Serves: 6



1.6 kg beef brisket

2 onions

4 fresh bay leaves

6 pink or black peppercorns

Your favourite bagels, to serve

For the brine 

200 g table salt

100 g brown sugar

30 g preserving salt, (optional)

1 bunch of fresh thyme, (20g)

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon red peppercorns

½ tablespoon allspice

2 cloves

For the mustard 

2 heaped teaspoons English mustard powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

For the pickles 

6 large gherkins

1 bunch of fresh dill, (20g)

2 mixed-colour chillies



At least 2 days – but ideally up to a week – before you would like to serve the salt beef, make a start on the brine. Place all the brine ingredients in a large pan on a medium heat. Pour in 2 litres of cold water and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes until the salt has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, remove the sinew and thick layer of fat from the meat, leaving a little behind for bonus flavour. Pierce the meat with a small sharp knife or skewer all over on both sides and place in a non-metallic sealable container. Pour the cooled brine over the brisket, then seal and store in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, turning the brisket over each day.

When the brining time is up, remove the brisket from the container and soak in cold water for 10 minutes.

Rinse the brisket well, then place in a large saucepan and cover with fresh cold water, until the beef is submerged.

Peel and quarter the onions, then add to the pan with the bay and peppercorns.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a. low heat and simmer for 2½ hours to 3 hours, or until the brisket is tender.

Meanwhile, mix all the mustard ingredients together in a small bowl and season with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Loosen with a drop more vinegar if it looks a little thick.

Slice up the gherkins and place them in a small bowl. Dress them with a couple of tablespoons of their pickling liquor and pick over the dill fronds. Finely slice the chillies – deseed if you prefer – then add to the bowl and mix together.

Carefully remove the brisket to a board and thinly slice off what you need. (You can keep the rest of the meat in the liquor to stop it drying out.)

To serve, split your bagels and spread a dollop of mustard on the base. Load up the pickles and pile on slices of the tender salt beef. Top with the bagel lid and tuck in!


Recipe credit: Jamie Oliver

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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…


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