Slow cooker cinnamon & orange beef

Feed a crowd on a budget with brisket, a cheap cut of beef that takes on flavours well, here with Christmassy cinnamon, sweet orange and cranberries

Serves 6-8


2 large oranges, zested and juiced
2 large cinnamon sticks
2 large onions, thinly sliced
7 garlic cloves, peeled
1 kg beef brisket, or a beef joint that lends itself to slow cooking, such as blade steak
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of saffron
3 bay leaves
500ml hot beef stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
75g soft light brown sugar
200g cranberries, fresh or frozen
handful of parsley, finely chopped
jacket potatoes, rice or couscous, to serve


Put the squeezed orange halves into the slow cooker and add the cinnamon, onions and garlic to cover the base of the slow cooker. Season the beef all over, rub in the cumin and cinnamon and put in the slow cooker. Scatter over the saffron and bay, then pour over the hot stock, soy, vinegar, honey and orange zest and juice. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 4 hrs.

Remove the lid and stir in the sugar and cranberries. Cook for a further 2-3 hrs on high, covered, until the beef is tender. Transfer the beef to a plate, then using two forks, shred apart, removing any fatty bits. Meanwhile, pour the liquid into a wide pan and place over a high heat. Simmer for 15-20 mins until reduced by a third, then season to taste. Remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and discard. The oranges should have broken down into little pieces, but you can remove if you prefer. Pour the sauce over the beef and toss together. Serve on a platter sprinkled with the chopped parsley. Serve with jacket potatoes, rice or couscous.