April 10, 2012

Sop Me Up with a Brisket!

I bought a brisket. I had it in the freezer awaiting a time when I wouldn't chicken out in cooking it. I think I bought in at the beginning of February. Anyway, I finally decided to cook it and it turned out AWESOME! I can't wait for my mom to get over here so she can get herself some and I can't wait to make me a brisket sandwich in a couple of days.

So, here's what I did after I defrosted the meat in the fridge:

I made a rub with:
Kosher salt
Cracked black peppercorns
McKormick sweet & savory spice rub
Dash of cayenne pepper
And I massaged the rub into the brisket until I felt it was evenly coated.

Sorry folks, but I don't measure, I just dump until l think it looks right. I can guesstimate that I used about 2 1/2 TBSP of salt, about 15 peppercorns and maybe 1 TBSP of the spice rub. I mixed it all together and had some left over after rubbing it into the meat.
Then I made a little bit of marinade combining some Bourbon glaze that I bought a few years ago from Tastefully Simple & never opened, and some creamy vidalia onion salad dressing. I combined the two and added some balsamic vinegar to up the acidity and counter the sweetness of the glaze & dressing. It may have been a 1/2-3/4 cup of marinade total and I added the balsamic vinegar in dashes until the marinade had the balance of flavor that was appealing to me (oh taste & see).

I put the brisket in a gallon-size freezer bag and poured the marinade over it, then pressed a good amount of air out of the bag and massaged the meat & marinade together until it was evenly coated. Then I put the meat in the fridge to marinate for about 3 hours, fat-side down. I did trim off a bit of the fat but left a little layer to help w/moisture and you can certainly marinate it overnight if you need to for the sake of time.

After marinating, I took the meat out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter top, in the marinade for 2hrs to come up to room temperature (per Food Network, this equals succulent meat).

The following steps took all of 30 minutes:

Preheat oven to 325
In dutch oven over med heat, add EVOO (enough to coat bottom of pan) & 1 TBSP of butter. Sear brisket on each side for color & flavor. Dice 1 white onion & 2 stalks of celery. Cut 2-3 carrots into 1-inch pieces. Once brisket is seared on all sides, remove from pan and pour off the remaining oil. Add 1 TBSP EVOO to pan. Add veggies. Add salt & pepper. Cook down veggies for a few minutes then add red or white wine to pan to deglaze (I used both b/c I had a little of Merlot & a lot of chardonnay). You can also just use chicken or beef broth. Scrape bits from bottom of pan to incorporate into mixture. After allowing veggies to soften a bit, nestle brisket into pan (not touching the bottom), pop a lid on it & put in the oven for 1.5-2hrs.

The results?

Shear beauty! And it is so tender!
After taking it out if the oven, I decided to make a gravy from the pan liquid. A little truth about me: I do not like cooked carrots...AT ALL. So I took some of the liquid & veggies and pureed them in my food processor...looked like baby food right.
Again, I didn't measure the amount I took out, but I did not add any flour or additional seasonings to the mix. Then, I poured it back into the pot w/the brisket.
When I say this was sooo good, I'm not exaggerating! I had some w/rice and the sauce poured over them both...YUM!

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