Showing posts with label brisket. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brisket. Show all posts

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mom's Slow Roasted Brisket

Meat falls into two categories for me. Tender cuts that should be cooked quickly to char a little on the outside and still stay rare and juicy on the inside, and tougher cuts that need a long time on the stovetop or in the oven to become tender. Brisket most definitely falls into category two. With its thick layer of fat on top, cooked long and low, there is no more succulent cut of beef. 

Almost the whole while that my husband and I were dating and for our first year of marriage, he worked offshore. That meant five weeks away working and then five weeks at home. Whenever he got back, we had a family get-together since everyone wanted to see him again. My mother almost invariably made her slow roasted brisket. In fact, it became kind of a joke, because if Simon was home again, we must be having brisket. Fortunately, he loved it. Her recipe was simple. Cover the brisket with onion powder, salt and pepper and roast, covered first with foil and then the lid of your roaster, until tender. Of course, the time varied with the size of the brisket but you were looking at a minimum of three or four hours.

When this week’s Sunday Supper theme of Man Food was posted, I knew what I wanted to make but brisket is difficult to find overseas. Butchers just seem to divide the cow up differently. I was delighted when I got a lead on the elusive cut from fellow food bloggers in Dubai. My husband and I were out running errands and I mentioned the possibility in passing to him since we were in the neighborhood of the butcher. I wish you could see how his eyes lit up. The good news was that they had one whole brisket. The bad news was that you had to buy the whole thing. I’m talking about seven kilos or almost 15 1/2 pounds of meat. That’s a lot of beef! Keep in mind that our children no longer live at home. But dear husband looked so full of hope that I found myself taking out a second mortgage and buying that brisket. (Just kidding about the mortgage. It was crazy expensive, but he’s worth it!)

I don’t have onion powder so I used fresh onions and to try to replicate the pungent sharpness of the powder, I added lots of garlic as well. It ended up tasting very much like my mom’s brisket and we were delighted. As for the copious leftovers, I’ve got a few ideas you might like to try and I’ll add those after the recipe. And if you are looking for Man Food ideas for Fathers' Day, be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a spectacular list of recipes.

1 whole brisket (about 15.4 lbs or 7kgs)
20 cloves or about 100g garlic
2 medium or about 300g onions
2 tablespoons flakey sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Olive oil

Take your brisket out of the refrigerator and let it warm up till it’s almost room temperature. Take any plastic wrap off and dry it thoroughly with paper towels.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Put all your seasoning ingredients into a food processor and process until they become a rough paste.

Put the brisket in your large roaster (preferably one with a tight fitting lid), fat side down. Spread half the paste all over the meat and give it a good drizzle of olive.

Turn the brisket over so it is now fat side up and spread the rest of the paste on the meat. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

Roast uncovered for 30 minutes in your preheated oven. Cover well with foil and then put the lid on nice and tight. Reduce the heat to 275°F or 135°C. Cook for three and a half or four hours and then check for doneness. Baste with the drippings every couple of hours.

See all that juice that is created? Some of it is fat that can be skimmed off. The rest is a lovely gravy.

Brisket is done when you can practically cut it with a dinner knife that isn’t even sharp or shred it with a fork. I ended up cooking mine for almost seven hours. No joke. It was a very large piece, or maybe New Zealand brisket isn’t as tender as Texas brisket. All I know is when I took it out again at seven hours, it was falling apart. So good! Best part is, it makes its own gravy.

According to my husband, brisket is best served with potatoes and gravy and a side of buttered peas the first night. So that’s what we had.

In the following days, it also turned up 1. In omelets with added chopped tomatoes and onions and cheese.

2. Sliced in brisket sandwiches on baguette with whole grain mustard, mayo, sliced tomato and greens.

3. Reheated in a skillet with added taco spices and served as brisket fajitas with caramelized onions, salsa, cheddar cheese and avocados in flour tortillas.

4. Reheated in a skillet with added ground cumin and coriander and served with tabouli and hummus in pita bread for lunch with a little Middle Eastern flair.

5.  Reheated in a skillet with barbecue sauce and served on a bun with extra slices of onion for a delicious barbecue sandwich. I forgot to take a photo of the original sandwiches but because it's Father's Day weekend, you know we slow roasted another brisket here in Texas yesterday.

And, finally, a confession, 6. I froze a big chunk in its gravy because the man left town on business and I just couldn’t look at it anymore. Someday it will be cottage pie, which is another of his favorite meals.

If you are looking for Man Food inspiration for Fathers’ Day, we’ve got you covered. Our Sunday Supper host this week is the talented and fabulous Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen who just happens to be running a Kickstarter campaign right now and will bake you cookies if you contribute.

Check out all the wonderful recipes this week! Never mind the men, I want to eat them all!

Manly Starters
Manly Mains:
Manly Desserts: