Friday, April 30, 2010

Ameeta's Brisket

I love brisket. And since I love brisket, I tend to cook a ton of it. So, I am always on the lookout for an awesome brisket recipe and one of our CSA members, Ameeta, shared this one with me. I have to admit it was pretty spectacular! Thanks, Ame!

Brisket Braised in Porter
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Shared by CSA Member Ameeta

Brisket always tastes better if prepared ahead and chilled. So, plan to make this 1-2 days before you actually want to serve it. Chilling it also makes it easier to slice thinly. Rewarm the brisket in the sauce and serve it with your favorite full-flavored dark beer.

Serves 12

1T kosher salt
2t fresh ground black pepper
2t dry mustard (such as Colman's)
2t chopped fresh sage (I used dried)
2t chopped fresh thyme (I used 2 sprigs)
1 6-lb flat-cut brisket
2T rendered bacon fat or olive oil
4c (or more) poultry broth (I used homemade turkey broth, but chicken broth works well)
1 12-oz bottle of porter or stout (I used an oatmeal stout)
6 whole pitted prunes (I omitted)
4 bay leaves (I used 2 fresh bay leaves- cracked)
2t (packed) dark brown sugar
3 large onions, thinly sliced
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 lb medium carrots, sliced into 1 and 1/2 inch lengths
2T whole grain Dijon mustard
1T (or more) malt vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar and Ameeta used lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl and rub all over the brisket. Heat bacon fat/olive oil in a heavy extra-large oven-proof pot on the stove to medium-high heat. Add the brisket and sear on all sides until a deep brown, about 5 minutes per a side. Remove brisket from pot and set aside. Add half the broth and deglaze the pot, making sure to scrap up any browned bits from the brisket. Stir in the beer, the prunes, bay leaves and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Return the brisket to the pot and scatter the sliced onions and garlic cloves over top. Add the remaining broth and cover the pot. Put the brisket in the oven and cook (braise) for 4-7 hours. Ameeta cooked hers for 7 hours, but the original recipe calls for at least 4 hours of cooking time. Halfway through cooking add the carrots and mushrooms. When the meat is tender but NOT falling apart, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly.

Once it cools a little, refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it (1-2 days). The day you are serving it, preheat the oven back to 350 degrees. Skim off any fat that accumulated at the surface of the sauce and remove the brisket. Place it on a cutting board and slice it thinly, across the grain. Place brisket slices in a roasting pan. Bring pan juices and vegetables to a boil in a pot. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and vinegar. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper) and add more vinegar (or lemon juice) until desired acidity is reached. Pour the sauce and vegetables back over the brisket and cover with foil. Place in oven and cook until reheated thoroughly, about 1 hr and 15 minutes. Serve meat with vegetables and sauce. I also added either polenta or mashed potatoes as a side dish.

Note: I cooked my brisket in the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, turning it over every 2-3 hours (my brisket was folded in half since it was larger than the crockpot insert.) Turning helped to make sure that the sauce remained concentrated and the brisket cooked completely on all sides.

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