This is dedicated to my grandmother, Gracie Smith, aka Granny Smith. Rosh Hashanah is apple and honey time and I couldn’t think of a better time to dedicate a recipe to such a sweet person. She loved singing (a soprano, at that), especially for her guests after supper. She may not have had the vocals of Sarah Brightman, but she had a full house whenever she could. Her hospitality always made for an exciting evening.
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and roughly chopped
100g pitted prunes
410g tin of apricots in syrup, juice reserved
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5–3kg chuck roast or brisket
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Blend the apples, prunes, apricots, tomato paste, cornflour and soy sauce in a food processor until they are smooth.
Spice the meat well with the black pepper. It is important to cover the entire roast with crushed pepper.
Place the meat in a small, but deep, roasting dish, with about 1 cm to spare at either end and around the sides. It should almost fit like a glove.
Pour over the sauce, cover with foil and roast for 90 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 170°C, turn the meat over and continue to roast for 40 minutes uncovered.
Turn the meat over again and roast for a further 30-40 minutes, uncovered, basting every 15 minutes until a rich golden brown glaze forms around the meat.
The sauce should be a glaze rather than a watery sauce. Allow excess liquid to evaporate while roasting and basting. If the glaze gets too dry before the meat is tender, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.