Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eight Nights of Lights, Three Nights of Brisket

Brisket Ragu?

Sorry for the delay in posting. I would make excuses but there really is no point, is there? I merely hope that I haven't discouraged any readers with the large gaps between my posts. Come back! So many tasty things!

Hannukah was this past week and in honor of such, I made brisket for maybe the second time, in my slow cooker. Delicious! I made twice as much because I knew we would be busy, so we'd have leftovers to play with. So, one night of traditional brisket, one night of bbq brisket sandwiches, and one night of, er, a brisket ragu?

So basically, I prepped the brisket the night before, fridged it, then plopped it in the slow cooker before work and came back to deliciousness. There was no burning down of the house, which made me especially happy.

This was good. Not quite the same as my Nana's, but good.


from William Sonoma Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker with mods.
(did anyone else note the irony in a food made fast cookbook... for the slow cooker?)
Serves 2 (for three nights!)

1 lb beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (potent!)
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS tomato paste

1) On a large plate mix flour, salt and pepper, to taste. Coat brisket in flour misture, shaking off excess, reserving leftover flower. In large heavy bottomed pan, warm oil over high heat. Add brisket, fat side down and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to slow cooker basin (or a seperate dish).
2) Pour off all but 1 TBS of fat from pan and return to med-heat. Add onions, garlic, red pepper and sauté until onions begin to caramelize. Add reserved flour and stir until incorporated. Add broth and vinegar and raise to a boil to deglaze pan. Add sugar and tomato paste and stir until blended. Pour mixture over brisket. Cover with foil and refridgerate overnight.
3) In the morning, remove foil and return slow cooker basin to mechanism (or put brisket in slow cooker). Cook on high heat for 3 -4 hours or low heat for 6 -8 hours. Brisket should be very tender when pierced with fork. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain. Serve with natural gravy from the slow cooker.

BBQ Brisket Sandwiches
Serves 2

2 hamburger buns or sandwich rolls
4-6 slices of brisket (see recipe above)
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce or blend of sauces (we used Dinosaur BBQ sauce and Original Hunts BBQ sauce)
any other toppings you like (coleslaw, onions, cheese, etc)

1) Toast hamburger buns to a lovely golden brown.
2) Place brisket in a microwave safe dish. Cover completely in BBQ sauce. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes on high. Remove and stir sauce, testing brisket for tenderness. Heat for an additional 2 minutes or until the brisket is tender and hot.
3) Place 2-3 slices of brisket on each bun and a generous amount of sauce and toppings as desired!

Brisket "Ragu"
Serves 2

Brisket leftovers, chopped (hopefully about 1/2 -1 cup
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp italian seasonings (or as much as you'd like)
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce (we're currently in love with Classico Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic)

1) Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender.
2) Add tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings, cooking until tomatoes soften.
3) Add tomato sauce and brisket. Continue to cook until heated through and the brisket is tender. Serve over pasta!

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