Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brisket Of Beef

With the Jewish High Holidays beginning this evening at sundown, I thought I'd offer my brisket recipe. This technique can be applied to just about any cut of beef that you intend to cook slowly. It will work as well with a chuck roast with beef short ribs. Preparation is simple and really the only thing you need special is time. This is a rather relaxed way of cooking.

The recipe came from the butcher at our local grocer when I was growing-up. As already discussed in numerous posts, my mother was not a very skilled cook. Somehow, Vic the Butcher understood this and came up with recipes even she could handle. He only sold her cuts of beef within her range of skills (no standing rib roasts, etc.). As a result, on the occasions that she prepared beef dishes, they were (unlike so many (so, so very many) meals) palatable. Good, actually.

Even before I could understand the concept of a holiday, or special occasion I knew something was up if I walked in and smelled brisket cooking (and you will smell this recipe thanks to 2 cups of Concord grape wine) and saw the "fake-lace" tablecloth on our round kitchen table.

I'm sure it came from Woolworth's (everything came from Woolworth's). The plastic tablecloth was nicer than the run-of-the-mill oilcloth and had a heavy flannel backing that used to catch on my tights if I sat too close. It was embossed in such a way to look like an elaborate lace pattern and from a distance (a room away) it really did look like a genuine tablecloth. Unlike the tablecloth I still need to press for tonight (damask and hand crocheted lace) it didn't require pressing as any creases quickly fell out as the vinyl unrolled.

It is with wonderful wishes for a happy and healthy new year that I offer "Vic the Butcher's" recipe for Beef Brisket in Wine.

You Will Need:

A beef Brisket, chuck roast, beef short ribs, or any other long-cooking beef
2 cups Concord Grape wine (I've used blackberry also, works pretty much the same)
1 bottle chili sauce (I prefer Bennett's, but feel free to use your favourite)
2 large onions, sliced
4-5 large carrots, diced
4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
Extra water

If you're making a brisket you do not need to brown the meet, but with other cuts, I would. Take the prepared beef and place it in a large roasting pan that can be covered with a lid or foil. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the onions and place atop the beef. Pour the entire bottle of chili sauce onto the beef. Re-fill the bottle with some of the wine to rinse out the last bits. Pour on the wine and enough water to come 1/3 the way up the brisket and potatoes. Use a spoon to coat the potatoes a bit. Cover and place in the oven for 2-4 hours depending on the weight of the beef. For about 4-5 lbs. of beef you are looking at around three hours. You'll want to check it hourly anyway to make sure you don't need to add more water.

If you're inclined to serve it over noodles (we're an inter-faith family and my husband comes from a Pennsylvania Dutch background-he likes his noodles) you can make a wonderful gravy from the wine and drippings by removing some to a bowl, letting it cool slightly and thickening it with flour (Wondra works well for this as it is milled very fine).

In the event you've baked a challah (I have) the brisket can be served second day as a wet, drippy sandwich on egg bread. Stop wincing-yes, it is sloppy, but oh my goodness it is delicious. If you're my husband, the leftover potatoes find their way into the sandwich as well (why dirty a second plate?).


Page D. said...

I sure miss the photos, hope you get them back soon.

Goody said...

Oh gosh, so do I. I was really bummed that I couldn't show that watermelon sorbet.

On the other hand, Linux runs so much better than I ever could have imagined it almost (almost) makes it worth it.

I need to find something that will let me run windows stuff on Linux (or get a card so the old Windows computer can run on our satellite).

I'm much, much too old for all this technology ;)