Oct 26, 2009
I've made this beef brisket twice now in just a matter of weeks. Though you wouldn't know it, after the beautiful weather we've had here the past couple days, fall is coming and my inner clock is telling me to cook hearty, fragrant food that fills the belly. The first time I made this brisket I paired it with these soft-pretzels and apples with caramel sauce for an Oktoberfest feast. And more recently it was an easy dish that I made the night before a busy day of hanging out with family, knowing it would be a hit.
The original recipe recommended making this the day before and letting the flavors meld and come together for a night or two before serving. And it works! The earlier the better. Which brings me to the only slightly difficult part of the recipe - planning ahead, and by more than just a couple hours, which is my usual M.O.
But let me tell you it is well worth the effort and planning needed to cook the brisket on day one, and heat and serve it on day two. This allows the flavors to meld nicely, plus, when spread out over two days the house smells heavenly for just a bit longer.
Brisket Braised in Porter
adapted from Bon Appetit
(this takes approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes to make, but most of that time is hands off, plus time to re-heat on before serving)
1 tablespoon coarse kosker salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard seeds, ground)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 3-pound brisket, trimmed but with some fat still attached
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
4 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 12-ounce bottle of porter or stout beer
6 whole pitted prunes
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
3 cups thinly sliced onions
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 pound medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub herb mixture all over brisket. Heat bacon fat in a heavy extra-large wide ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add brisket to pot and cook until deep brown, 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer brisket to platter.
Add 2 cups of broth to pot and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Stir in prunes, porter, bay leaves, and brown sugar; bring to boil. Return brisket to pot, fat side down; scatter onion slices over to cover meat, then add garlic.
Cover pot; place in oven and braise brisket 1 hour. Remove pot from oven; uncover and turn brisket over so that the onion slices fall into the liquid in the pot. Return pot to oven and braise uncovered for 30 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Cover and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Add carrots and continue to braise until the meat and carrots are very tender, adding more broth by the cupful as needed, about 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. Cool slightly then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days before serving.
About 1 hour prior to serving spoon off any fat from the surface of the brisket or in the pot. Re-heat on the stove by first bringing the juices to a boil and then simmering the brisket for at least 45 minutes until heated through. Serve meat and vegetables with sauce from the pot.
(photography by: alison clayshulte)