I've been putting off writing about the brisket I made, and I'm not entirely sure why. I think I'm getting a bit tired of writing. Not tired of cooking, just the writing bit. It takes me about half an hour to do each post, and I've been too busy cooking to sit down and write about it! ;) Plus, I often write when the TV is on in the background etc. and I've been finding that way too hard... so I need to make time to sit down without TV, just with some good music playing softly so I can concentrate on what I'm saying. Otherwise it's all jumbled and can easily not make sense!!
Anyway, back to the food. Brisket is a cut of beef (from the neck, I believe) where there is a lot of marbling in the meat, so you have to cook it looong and sloooow so that it melts the marbling stuff and the meat falls apart. I've mostly associated brisket with Jewish cooking in the past, and I've never cooked it before and had no idea where to start. I think this Jewish stereotype comes from The Big Bang Theory possibly, where Howard's mom is legendary for her brisket.
I searched on Pinterest for brisket recipes, and came up with two possibilities I could use. First was one that used an entire bottle of ketchup mixed with a packet of onion soup, and baked slowly for 4 hours. The second one is the one I used. I chose it because I liked that it used a range of ingredients (while still being simple), and I didn't trust the simplicity of the first one.
1 brisket (we used 1.1kg, which is smaller than the original recipe suggested, but it was still good - lots of sauce! They said around 1.8kg)
2 large onions
2 medium carrots
10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper
baking paper and tin foil
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
- Season the brisket with salt and pepper and place in a LARGE glass/ceramic oven proof dish (9x13 size, the original recipe suggests)
- Top with diced onion, carrots, and garlic cloves, and sprinkle with some more salt and pepper
- Pour over tomato juice, beef stock and wine, making sure it comes up at least halfway on the brisket; if not, add some more broth(the size we used was small, the sauce covered the whole thing! LOL)
- Cover with a rectangle of baking paper that sits just inside the edges of the pan
- Cover the dish tightly with tin foil
- Put in the oven and leave for 3 & 1/2 to 4 hours
- Remove from the oven and take off the covers carefully (watch out - the sauce bubbles madly!)
- Use tongs/fork to make sure the meat is tender (it will come apart easily along the grain of the meat if it is!), and cut into 4 or 5 manageable chunks (if brisket was whole to begin with) and let cool slightly
- Pour the sauce into a saucepan and cook at a high simmer for 5 - 10 mins over medium-high heat, to cook off any remaining alcohol, and to reduce and thicken the sauce for more concentrated flavours, stirring occasionally
- Mix 3 tablespoons cornflour with 3 tablespoons cold water, and add to the sauce to thicken more if necessary
- Put the sauce and brisket back together, and serve!
So this turned out like a casserole, and it was delicious. We ate it with potato bake and steamed green vegetables - broccoli and peas. In the sauce, the wine wasn't overpowering or anything, and the garlic cloves were like little nuggets of gold hidden among the meat! The onion and carrot was a nice change in texture, and the meat itself melted in my mouth. Delicious! Going to make this again if we ever get another cheap cut of brisket!!
Recipe Inspiration: http://tummyrumblr.tumblr.com/post/4988668577/pimpin-aint-easy