Salt beef brisket with capers, gherkins and smoked mayonnaise

This salt beef recipe is not just any salt beef recipe. Lovingly brined, rubbed in a stunning ancho chilli spice mix and gently smoked, it is the product of numerous flavour-infusing techniques, resulting in melt-in-the-mouth, delicious brisket. Chef Andy McLeish serves his beefy creation with a smoked mayonnaise, dainty pickled onions and capers for a truly next-level dish.

First published in 2017




Beef brisket

Salt beef brine

Ancho chilli beef rub

Smoked mayonnaise

Pickled onions

To serve


  • Hot smoker
  • Wood chips
  • Food processor
  • Squeezy bottle


To make the brine, place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan, pour in 2.5 litres of water and gradually bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Once it has come to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely
Pierce the brisket all over with a skewer. Place it in a large, clean plastic box or bucket and cover the meat with the brine; it must be totally submerged. Leave the meat to brine in the fridge for 7 days
Combine all of the ancho chilli rub ingredients in a bowl. Take the beef out of the brine, rinse well and generously rub the ancho chilli rub into the brisket. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes
Place the beef in a table-top smoker and smoke for 1 hour before removing and wrapping in foil
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark 1/4
Place the meat parcel on a tray and cook in the oven for 7–8 hours. Once the meat is soft, remove from the oven and discard the tin foil. Wrap the beef in cling film and allow to cool in the fridge
To make the mayonnaise, place the egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in a food processor. Gradually add the smoked oil until it thickens to resemble a mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and place in a squeezy bottle
To prepare the onions, add the vinegar, sugar, thyme, bay leaf and garlic to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the onions, immediately remove from the heat and allow the liquid and onions to cool and pickle
Once cool, remove the onions from the liquid, cut in half and scorch the cut-side of the onions in a hot pan. Separate into layers and set aside
Thinly slice the smoked brisket and arrange on plates. Add some smoked mayonnaise, sprinkle with mini capers, cornichons and the pickled onions and drizzle over a little olive oil. Serve with some crusty bread
First published in 2017

Andy McLeish takes the field to fork ethos seriously, hunting and butchering his own game to ensure his menus at Chapter One offer the finest of local ingredients treated with respect.

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