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Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Season the brisket all over. Put the onion and carrot slices into a deep roasting tray and nestle the brisket in the middle. Pour over the ale, top up with water (about 1.5 litres) to just cover the brisket and add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Cover in foil and cook for 4 hours until the meat is really tender and giving way when pressed.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Fry the onions for 15 minutes or until soft. Stir in the ale, and simmer for another 30 minutes until it has evaporated and the onions have turned golden and caramelised. Season and add a pinch of sugar. Set aside.
Remove the meat from the tray carefully and cover in foil to rest while you warm the beer onions through. Split the baps and butter each side. Put each cut-side down into a hot frying pan to toast until golden. Slice the brisket (spooning over some of the cooking juices, if you like) and serve stuffed into the toasted rolls with the beer onions and some melty dolcelatte.