Saturday, March 6, 2010

Red Wine Braised Beef Brisket, from Every Day Food, and Glazed Carrots

I have to give my son credit for inspiring me to make this recipe.  Brian doesn't have cable television, but he can receive PBS television.  As a result of this, he watches a lot of cooking shows. My son and I like Every Day Food  (Martha Stewart) because the recipes are very simple and don't involve complicated ingredients or instructions.  "Mom, please make this!" he pleaded, as we watched this episode together.  Last weekend, it was raining and cold. This was the perfect day to make a braised dinner.  What I love about braising is that I can buy inexpensive cuts of meat and cook it for several hours, resulting in tender meat and tasty sauces. Sounds good?  I found a 6 pound chunk of brisket for $3.50 pound.  I decided to use 1/3 of this chunk of meat and freeze two more portions for a later time. 

The ingredients list is short and simple.  You need shallots.  I love me some shallots! They're sweeter than traditional onions, and I always have them in my fridge.
You also need garlic.

Just smash the garlic and peel off the paper peels.  I cut my shallots chunky style.  We're about to sear the meat.  I have a friend who says she's can't sear meat. She says it never turns golden brown. My best advice is this-- pat the meat as dry as you can. No moisture, or it will steam.  I love my Dutch Oven, because I can turn the burner to screaming HOT and that's what you need.  HOT!  Here we go....

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Season brisket with salt and pepper; in batches, cook, turning occasionally, until dark brown on all sides, about 20 minutes total. Transfer brisket to a plate and discard fat from pot.  NOTE: I cooked my 2 pound chunk of meat in one large slice. I didn't feel a need to cut it, but it's up to you. Look at all that fond!
Color = flavor.


Return the pot to high heat and add 2 teaspoons oil and shallots; cook, stirring, until shallots are browned, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.  We're about to deglaze all this tasty goodness. That translates to, adding liquid to loosen up all the brown bits to make an amazing sauce.  You could use beef stock, if you don't want to use wine. Me? I buy reasonably priced wine at Trader Joe's. I never, ever buy cooking wine-- it's salty and it's nasty!  I grabbed a bottle of Merlot from my stash of wines reserved for braising....

 Add wine and simmer rapidly until reduced by three-fourths, about 15 minutes.
TIP: I dip the end of my cooking spoon to leave a "mark" where the liquid started from. Now, when I dip the spoon, after reducing the liquid, I can see that it's reduced enough.

Because I have an herb garden, I decided to pick some Italian Parsley, marjoram and oregano and I tied it up and put it into the sauce.  I do this, because I think it adds extra flavor to sauces. Return beef to pot and add just enough water to cover meat (5 to 6 cups). Bring to a boil, cover, then place pot in oven. Cook until beef is tender, 3 ½ to 4 hours.  NOTE: You could use a slow cooker, but I was planning to be home anyway.  In my very honest opinion, I find braising in a Dutch Oven to be my preferred method. Somehow, I think the meat come out more tender.   The next photo isn't my best quality. The sun had gone down, and my natural lighting was pretty much done...

I wanted to show you how much the sauce had reduced!  I took a taste, 3/4 of the way through braising, and found the sauce to be missing something. I added some tomato paste (about 1 Tablespoon) and some thyme.

I removed the meat, and added some beef stock to the sauce...

This is the reward for waiting HOURS for a meal to be braised. The sauce was so flavorful. I liked the redness from the tomato pasta, and the herbs were perfect.

The meat was super tender...

I served this with egg noodles with some unsalted butter and fresh parsley. I also made my own version of glazed carrots to go with this dish.   My son was very happy that I made it, and I have to say-- I'm glad that I did.  We had just enough to feed four people, or I would have made soup from the leftovers. It was all gone! 
I'm posting two printable versions for this Red Wine Braised Brisket recipe, and the Glazed Carrots. I'll print this for my son, who I think can easily make this dinner in his bachelor apartment. 

We are still having days of heavy rain, with beautiful and sunny days in between.  I'd better hurry up and post some of the other stews and braised dinners I've been making-- I think our Weber BBQ will be coming out of it's Winter Storage very soon!

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14 comments:

Little Ms Blogger said...

That looks AMAZING and I agree with you about braising foods.

Sundays in the wintertime = stews, soups or braised type recipes.

A cupcake or two said...

Hi Debbie. You have a great blog. I like your beed brisket dish. The meat looks so soft and delicious. I noticed your photo with Tyler Florence. Oh isnt he just gorgeous.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I can just about taste all the flavor coming from that beautiful braised meat. Even the carrots look wonderful.

Ingrid said...

This is definitely a Sunday dish and totally worthy of it! :)
~ingrid

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Looks like BUTTA! Isn't Everyday Food great? I've never made a recipe that didn't turn out well. They've just published a new collection, so it's nice to have some of the "classics" in one book.

Cathy said...

There's only one word for this: SCRUMPTIOUS. I agree with you about the slow simmering bringing out all the wonderful flavors in the dish. And I love the aroma of it cooking away on the stove.

Mary said...

The brisket and carrots sound wonderful. I love the recipes from Everyday Food. Love her or hate her, Martha makes no junk :-). Have a great day, Debbie.

Trish said...

Scrumptious....this would be a great meal for today....a little cool out and rainy. Wonderful pictures and very tempting I must say!

Kim said...

I love your tip about using your spoon when reducing liquids. That is a great way to measure how much the liquid has reduced.

Your brisket looks absolutely delicious! So cute that you and your son watch cooking shows together:D

À LA GRAHAM said...

This looks so delicious! And I am so jealous that you can just head out to your yard and pick fresh herbs, I have to fork out 5 bucks for a package of fresh herbs. My day is coming but not soon enough...we still have a ton of snow on the gound.

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
Looks like the perfect Sunday supper to me!
I love braising.
xxoo

Karen said...

Oh, this looks so good. It's worth the wait on the stove for something like this!

Monica H said...

This looks like such a comforting meal. Your son is one lucky boy.

Jen_from_NJ said...

Your brisket looks heavenly! Your son really has an eye for great food!