Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What's Cooking Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Brisket

My signature dish. Without fail. It's what I'm known for. My brisket.

Now, before you get overwhelmed at the thought of making a brisket, allow me to calm your nerves. It is NOT difficult, it's just a teensy bit time consuming. With that being said, here we go.

I originally made it from the Joy of Cooking classic recipe but have since modified it over the years. Sometimes I make it with more of a kick, and sometimes I make it sweeter. Regardless, it is VERY hard to f**k up so consider this a possibility for any group dinner you have coming up.

Sweet and Sour Brisket

3-4 pound brisket
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
5 pounds (at least) of onions (best to use a mix of yellow, sweet, purple, and shallots)
Red wine
Beef stock
Chili sauce (I always use Frank's Red Hot) 
Apple cider vinegar
Brown sugar (dark is best but I almost only have light in my pantry)
Bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

While that preheats, slather the brisket with salt, pepper, and garlic. I puncture the brisket in 10 spots and shove a whole garlic clove into each puncture. I'd say 2 solid tablespoons of salt plus 2 solid tablespoons of pepper. Then sear the brisket. in 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. 
I use a roasting pan on top of 2 gas burners on my stovetop for the entire process and it has actually worked out very well. You can also sear the brisket on a grill too, which is what we did before we had a gas stove. 
I toss in whatever fresh herbs I have on hand when I make this. It varies with what's in my fridge or in the summer what's growing in my garden. If you don't have fresh herbs, no worry at all. It's still delicious. 

When the brisket is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan. Add in a few more tablespoons of oil and toss in ALL OF THE ONIONS. It doesn't matter how thin or thick they're sliced but make sure they're sliced! Keep whatever herbs were in the pan with the onions too. The flavors will get married even more! 

Once the onions have started to get carmelized and brown in color (but not ALL THE WAY) it's time for the sauce. Add in half a bottle (yes, I know) of red wine and a full box of beef stock. Stir around a bit and scrape the bottom of the pan for yummy bits. Let that got for just a few minutes then add in 1 cup of chili sauce, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 to 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, and 4 bay leaves. Give it a stir and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste your sauce and adjust your flavoring to your liking. 

Add the brisket back into the sauce and onions, toss some fresh herbs (if you have any) on top and cover it with foil. Bake until tender to your liking anywhere from 2-3 hours. 

When it's done, remove it from the oven. let it rest.

Remove the brisket from the pan and thinly slice it then place the slices back into the pan. 

Here's the MOST important part. Cover the pan and put it in the fridge overnight to soak it all up. 

The next day, remove the pan from the fridge. Let is come to room temperature. Reheat in the over for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. 

I promise, you'll never look at brisket the same again. 

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