2kg piece boned, rolled beef brisket (fresh, not salted)
4-5 garlic cloves, bruised
Good handful of thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1.25kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
About 400g baby onions or shallots, outer skins removed
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Put the brisket in a large roasting dish. Tuck the garlic and thyme inside and under it. Pour over two to three tablespoons of olive oil and massage into the meat, then season well. Put the meat in the oven for 20-30 minutes, then remove it. Turn down the oven to 130C/250F/gas mark 1/2 , cover the meat with foil and return to the oven for four hours.
After this time, the beef should be very tender. Baste it with its juices, add the potatoes and onions, and toss them in the fat, then turn up the heat to 170C/325F/gas mark 3 and cook, uncovered, for a further hour. Serve the beef in thick slices, with the potatoes, onions and a little of the rich cooking juices.