I can’t deny it, i am a sucker for a well cooked large slab of beef. and ok, really, who can turn down something that tasty? Brisket is in some ways the ultimate expression of this decadence, slow cooked until its falling apart, the flavor is indescribably wonderful. the prep method is ridiculously simple but for the sake of complete coverage, i will give you a quick rundown.
my recipe for brisket is a conglomeration of methodologies that i have picked up from various and sundry sources. i can’t point to any one cookbook or chef and say “that’s the brisket i make”. like all good personal recipes, it combines the best elements of multiple recipes with personal touches that make it my own.
my brisket is a two stage operation. stage one is quick and easy. take the raw brisket, cut small slits in it, around 6 or 8 per side and insert whole garlic cloves in the slits. generously salt and pepper both sides of the brisket. then, over a moderately hot flame, heat a large frying pan with a bit of oil. sear off both sides of the brisket, just enough to brown the outside. this is just to seal in moisture, the main cooking will happen in stage two.
ok, stage two. this is my absolute favorite use of a crock pot. take two large onions, peeled and cut into quarters. drop in the bottom of the crock pot. lay the brisket on top of the onions. pour in two bottles of beer (i use fat tire amber ale but most people recommend lagers) and enough water to cover. drop in some cayenne, a bay leaf or two and a bit more salt and pepper. cook on low for a minimum of 12 hours. i like my brisket fork tender.
about 30 minutes before you plan on eating, take out around 2 cups of the broth. mix this with enough flour to make a moderately thick gravy, around 1/2 a cupl, salt and pepper to taste and serve over the brisket.
if you are like me, you will have plenty of brisket left over, thats sandwiches for the week so make sure you have some decent bread or rolls on hand as well.
i promise, pictures and descriptions of the other courses are forthcoming soon.