7 lb/ 3 kg even-sized piece of topside or silverside
2 tsp each ground cloves, milled black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, mace and saltpetre
2 tbsp black treacle
2 tbsp brown sugar
cold water to cover
1/2 cup salt
Combine all the ingredients except the beef, water and Guinness. Place the beef in a bowl and cover with the mixture. Rub it in once or twice a day for a week. Tie up the meat into a good shape and place in a pan. Cover with cold water to which a bottle of Guinness has been added. Simmer gently for 5-6 hours. When cool, press lightly between two plates. The beef is usually served cold, thinly sliced.
Spiced beef is traditionally eaten at Christmas time. It tends to be rather expensive to buy as it is quite labour intensive to make, though it uses a modestly enough priced cut. It can be made at home, but it does take time.
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