Simplicity, Brisket and Wine
I recently came across the post by The Food and Wine Hedonist, where he was talking about the fundraiser party he cooked for. One of the dishes he made was beef brisket sandwiches (I think the name “pulled beef brisket” should be the most suitable). In the comment to that post, I mentioned that beef brisket is one of my favorite dishes to make, and promised to share the recipe in the near future.
Beef brisket is one of the traditional dishes on the menu for Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year which we celebrated few days ago, hence I took the opportunity to take a few pictures and share the recipe.
One of my favorite things about cooking beef brisket is simplicity (this is why “simplicity” is a part of the title). The simplicity is associated with cooking of beef brisket in many ways – it is both simple to prepare, and simple to cook, with virtually no possibility of ruining it.
The recipe I’m talking about here is a dry rub based ( there are many ways of cooking the beef brisket, of course). Basically, the cooking consist of a few simple steps – rub the brisket with spices ( anything goes!), wrap in foil, refrigerate overnight, take it out, put it in the oven for 6-7 hours at a low temperature, get it out and enjoy. That’s it. If you want a bit more details, here it is
- Prep time – 10 minutes, cooking time – 3 – 6 hours
- Beef brisket, trimmed of excessive fat, any size – size will only be essential for the cooking time
- Dry rub spices – anything your heart desires – garlic powder, chipotle, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, etc – again, amount should be proportional to the size of brisket
- Dry fruit – dried apricots, figs, prunes
- optional – baby carrots,
- 1/2 to the whole bottle of red wine (can be replaced with broth or just water) – amount depends on how much brisket you are cooking.
- cooking time – 45 min per pound, 300F
Cooking instructions: Take brisket, trim excessive fat. Rub with any spices or spice mixes you desire (see picture below – yes, I know, I went a little too far), wrap in the foil, refrigerate overnight. Take the brisket out of the fridge about 2 hours before cooking, just to let it warm up. Preheat oven to 300F. Take cooking pan, put dried fruits and carrots (if using) on the bottom. Unwrap brisket and put into the pan, fat side up. Add wine ( or any liquid you are using) – you need it to prevent brisket from drying up during the long cooking time. Cover baking dish with foil and put into the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes per pound. Take out of the oven periodically and braise the brisket with cooking liquid. When done, let is rest for 10 minutes. Cut brisket across the grain with the sharp knife. Serve with boiled potatoes or any other starch of your choice. Additionally, if you made too much brisket, you can use leftovers to make pulled brisket sliders – break it apart using fork or fingers, add BBQ sauce and put it on the buns.
Now, below are the same cooking instructions in the form of pictures:
I don’t know what you think, but this is really simple recipe as far as I see it.
And of course there was wine:
Twice a year, my wine selection conundrum ( what to open, what to open) is resolved with ease – for Passover and Rosh Hashanah, the choice is simple – it should be an Israeli wine. This year I opened two bottles, from two well known producers – Recanati and Vitkin.
2008 Recanati Red Wine – I don’t read Hebrew, and this wine came directly from Israel, so there is not a thing I can tell you about grape composition of this wine. Red fruit on the nose, touch of warm spices on the palate, some blackberries and plums, tannins are barely noticeable, medium finish. Okay wine, but really nothing special. Drinkability: 7
2006 Vitkin Cabernet Franc (14% ABV, 86% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petite Verdot, aged 14 month in small oak barrels) – outstanding. You know, some wines you define as “a lot going on”. And some wines demonstrate singular perfection. This Cabernet Franc wine had this singular perfection – Cassis all the way. Perfect bouquet of Cassis on the nose. Same on the palate – luscious, soft and rolling mouthfeel (this wine is unfiltered), pronounced Cassis notes with an addition of dark chocolate, supple tannins, firm structure and cutting acidity in the back, perfectly balanced, with the long finish. Definitely belongs to the “dangerous wines” category. Drinkability: 8+
And we are done here! While the wines might be difficult to find in US (but Vitkin is definitely worth asking for by name), I hope that at least you can put a brisket recipe to a good use. If you will decide to make it, drop me a note – I will be really curious to know what do you think. And until the next time – cheers!
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