If you don’t know a lot about brisket or even if you do my wife got this book for me over the holidays and I have to say it is one of the first cook books I have read starting at the beginning without just jumping to the recipes.
The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes by Stephanie Piersonisket
Flat, Single or First cut Brisket Jewish style
I say Jewish style only because this was the way my Mom the “I’m not a Jewish princess” made it. My Aunt made a totally different style but we won’t go there.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours until fork tender.
Serves: That depends on you
This is the basic recipe that my mother used to use although she still gasps “you used a recipe” when I tell her I tried a new method, hey you have to get ideas from somewhere right? When you mix a Jew and an Italian Roman Catholic together coupled with our enjoyment to experiment (I’m talking food here, my dear brother) we discovered and still are discovering the full range of brisket. This was once a cheaper cut of meat that needs the slow and low approach. If you treat it right you have something that melts in your mouth. I have never matched what my Mom did but then she never really told us exactly what went in. When it comes to the gravy/ brasing liquid try just about anything but the kitchen sink each time the flavor varies slightly. It’s all personal taste.
- Flat cut brisket about 4lbs
- 4-6 onions peeled and chopped
- 1-4 cloves of garlic minced or chopped
- Potatoes and carrots cut into slight larger than bite size pieces
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- ½ cup yellow mustard – have used grey poupon, Trader Joe’s Grey poupon (very hot), spicy brown mustard you get the idea
- 1-2 Tbsp. horseradish
- There are so many options for the braising liquid make up, here are a few I have added honey, cranberry sauce, beer, cocktail sauce, basically anything so if I suddenly discover I do not have XYZ there are options.
Mix last three ingredients (and any others you choose to) together in a bowl or measuring cup. Sear the brisket over medium high on all sides in a large Dutch oven I start with fat side down, adding some canola oil first if there is not a lot of fat. With fat side up add onions along the sides of the brisket and sauté until translucent. Stirring occasionally so the onions cook evenly, add garlic cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute you will smell it. Now pour the braising liquid over the top of the brisket covering the whole thing. Cover tightly and lower heat to low so that it simmers for anywhere from 4-6 hours turning half way until fork tender meaning that a fork or a probe thermometer goes in and out of the meat with little resistance. Remember the key slow and low. I always cooked this stove top then my wife and sister bought me a Le-Creuset pot I just started to experiment with this pot in oven at about 225-230 they run hot.
Cook the potatoes and carrots, I have added to the pot about 30 minutes before I thought it would be done or boiled separately (better control of doneness) and add to the gravy while warming up. Your choice try both let me know what you think.
Serving is also a choice and there are choices, serve fresh out of the pot or sit in the gravy it creates overnight in the refrigerator, my preference, I have tried sliced or not sliced. Mom says it cuts easier if you wait. A benefit of letting it sit overnight is the fat congeals on top and you can spoon it off before reheating. Speaking of fat, some like it taken off (I just scrap it off with a knife pretty much comes off easily) others leave all or some of it on for serving. I like some fat my wife no so much. Of course serve with plenty of gravy on the side.