Monday, March 8, 2010

Kitchen Sink Brisket

The first time husband and I took a stab at making brisket we called everyone we knew who had ever made one we liked. Mothers, aunts, grandma’s; we compiled recipe after recipe, scoured the internet in search of the ultimate method. We hummed, we hawed and then we just said SCREW IT and merged all the recipes together to create one ginormous, ultimate Kitchen Sink Brisket. I’m not going to lie, this brisket is amazeballs! Yup, I totally made that word up. It’s a mash-up of “amazing” (which is how this thing tastes, smells, looks...did I say tastes?) and “balls” (because it was down right ballsy to make a brisket with 25 ingredients from 10 different recipes). Ok, so maybe I didn’t make 'amazeballs' up, but someone who had to have been thinking about this brisket made it up because that is exactly how to describe it.

Our Kitchen Sink Brisket debut was at my husband’s family’s Passover dinner 4 years ago. Now I am a Goy (aka not Jewish) or more specifically a Shiksa (a non-Jewish woman) so I have to say, I don’t think anyone expected much of this Shiksa's brisket from the get go (to be fair, this was likely before I got a chance to prove my cooking chops to my in-laws). Then someone asked what was in it and we started rattling off all 25 items. Well, let me just say, the jaws around the table dropped. I’m pretty sure the only reason anyone tried the damn thing in the first place was to be polite. But AHH HAA! (and do please read that with as much Fiddler on the Roof intonation possible) slowly but surely, they all went back for seconds. Alas, the Kitchen Sink Brisket passed the Passover litmus test, one of, if not THE MOST arduous challenge a brisket can go through. My Catholic, Italian nana would be proud :-).

This is a ‘by the nose and mouth’ recipe where, much like my meatballs and sauce, it is a lot about taste and not so much about measuring. So I present to you the last brisket recipe you will ever need…..this one literally has it all! Fear not my friends; brisket is a very forgiving meat as long as you cook it low and slow. It will perfume your house to no end and bring your neighbors to your door asking for spots at the table. So break out your tasting spoons, get a good book and dig in! This is how a Goy and a Jew make a brisket.

Kitchen Sink Brisket
(A Girl and Her Kitchen…and Her Husband)

4 lbs beef brisket (or whatever size you happen to buy)
2 bsp Liquid Smoke (or there abouts….do NOT skip the liquid smoke)
2 tsp Onion powder
2 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Celery Salt (or Celery Seed if you don't have the salt)
2 Bay Leaves, large or 3 medium
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Cayene pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 packet onion soup mix (dry, such as Lipton)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp Worchestshire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1-2 tbsp Ketchup
1-2 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce (or use the whole bottle for a more BBQy brisket)
1/4 c Heinz Chili Sauce
3 c Beef Broth
3 c Red Wine
3 tbsp Butter, divided (room temp)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 large container brown mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1 tbsp flour (optional)

* Cooks note – measurements are entirely made up and may be highly inaccurate. Use your taste buds to guide you! Though this is a good place to start.

In a big ziplock bag pour 1 tsp each of garlic and onion powders, 1 tbsp liquid smoke and 1-2 cups red wine. Add in brisket and mush about to distribute marinade. Refrigerate over night, turning occasionally. (Step recommended, not required.)
Preheat oven to 300º.

In a large roasting pan, sauté onions in 2 tbsp butter and olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another 4 minutes. (If you don’t have a roasting pan, sauté veggies in a sauté pan and then add to a large casserole in which you will cook your meat.)
Take roasting pan off heat and add in all remaining ingredients except for the brisket. Stir to combine and taste. If you like the taste, proceed to next step. If you want to adjust sweet, spicy, salty etc, please do so now. (Note, you will be able to readjust seasoning again after cooking.)
Dump the brisket and the marinade into the roasting pan and stir a bit to incorporate the marinade into the roasting sauce. Turn the brisket over so the fatty side is up.
Spoon some sauce, mushrooms and onions on top of the brisket. Cover roasting pan with tinfoil and cook at 300º for 5-8 hours (the longer the better).
(Before cooking)
(After 4 hours)
(After 8 hours)
Remove pan from oven and take off foil (be careful as there will be ample steam). Remove the brisket and set on cutting board. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (against the grain).
While meat is resting, if the sauce is not thick enough, simmer the sauce left in roasting pan over medium high heat to reduce it a bit. In a small bowl, mush together 1 tbsp room temp butter with 1 tbsp flour. Add butter and flour mixture to sauce to help thicken. If the sauce still needs thickening, repeat this step. (Note: the simmering and butter and flour steps may be entirely unnecessary depending on how long you cook it. The longer it cooks, the thicker the sauce gets on its own. If cooking it 8 hours, likely can skip these steps.)

Slice meat and add back to roasting pan with sauce.
You can continue to cook covered with foil at 250º until ready to serve.

1 comment:

  1. That. Looks. Wicked. Good. Man, I love brisket.