Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Brisket & Onions

Holiday Brisket & Onions
(12 servings)


2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
2 tsp. Chopped Thyme
1 tsp. Chopped Oregano
1 tbsp. Sweet Hungarian Paprika
6 lb. Flat-cut Beef Brisket
½ cup Dried Porcini Mushrooms (1/2 oz.)
1 cup Hot Water
3 tbsp. Pure Olive Oil
2 cups Dry Vermouth (or white wine)
1 cup Chicken Broth
2 cups Canned Italian Tomatoes, chopped
3 Bay Leaves
4 medium Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. Fresh Garlic, chopped


In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and paprika.  Rub this all over the brisket (can be done the night before).  Next, in a medium heatproof bowl, cover mushrooms with the hot water and set aside to soften for 20 minutes.  Remove mushrooms from liquid, rinse and coarsely chop.  Reserve the soaking liquid too.  Using a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat oil to shimmering over moderately high heat.  Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook until well browned on each side (8 minutes per side).  Transfer to a platter and pour off excess grease from casserole.  Add the vermouth, broth and reserved soaking liquid (stop before you reach grit at bottom of soaking liquid) to casserole.  Scrape up the browned bits on bottom and then add tomatoes, mushrooms and bay leaves.  Return brisket to casserole, fat side up.  Scatter the onions and garlic over meat and into liquid and bring to a boil.  Cover and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for one hour.  Uncover and continue in oven another 30 minutes.  Now spoon onions on top of brisket and return to oven for another 30 minutes to brown onions.  Push some of the onions back into liquid, cover and continue for 2 hours more or until meat is fork tender.  Transfer brisket to a carving board and tent with foil.  Simmer sauce on stove top while the brisket rests.  Discard bay leaves, taste liquid and season as needed with salt and pepper.  Carve brisket across the grain into 3/8 inch thick slice and arrange on a large, warm platter.  Spoon onions and sauce over meat and serve.

Note:               Brisket could be cooked a day or two ahead.  Let meat cool some in liquid before separating brisket and from remaining ingredients and refrigerate each.  On day of serving, slice brisket and shingle in a roasting pan.  Remove any fat from surface of liquid and then pour over the sliced brisket.  Cover and warm in a 250 degree oven for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Ideas for Future Efforts

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