Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brisket With Garlic

This is one of my favorite recipes.  It is the only way I have ever tried cooking brisket, and it is probably the only way I ever will make brisket.  Do not let the quantity of garlic daunt you, it is well worth the effort for the flavor.  If you can, get yourself a garlic peeler.  It's just a little silicone tube, but it makes this dish far easier.

The original recipe called for red wine, but I choose to use balsamic vinegar instead.  I am not a fan of win in general, so I prefer not to use it.  The balsamic vinegar gives more of a full flavor, without the alcohol overtone.  I also use a smaller cut of meat, to fit in my pot, and halve the amount of garlic used.  Everything else stays the same.

Beef Brisket with 40 Cloves of Garlic Recipe

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 (5 to 6 pounds) beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
40 large cloves garlic, peeled (about 3 to 4 heads of garlic - see Notes)
1 large sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup red wine (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
2 to 3 cups beef or chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Season brisket liberally on both sides with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy, deep-sided, oven-proof skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom. Sear both sides of brisket, beginning with fat-side down, until golden brown. Remove to a platter.

Add garlic cloves and sweet onion rings to the remaining oil in the pan. Cook and stir until garlic begins to turn golden and sweet onions are limp.

Add red wine (or balsamic vinegar) and deglaze the pan, stirring for 1 minute while scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef or chicken broth, oregano, and basil. Bring back to a simmer, then turn off heat. Move garlic and onions to the side and return brisket to the Dutch oven or skillet. Spoon garlic and onions over the top of the brisket, cover tightly, and place in the oven.
Bake for 1 hour at 325 F. Reduce heat to 300 and bake an additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. Remove brisket to a platter and cover to keep warm. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Remove half of of garlic cloves and most of onions to a bowl. Skim off excess oil from the pan gravy and discard. Blend pan gravy and garlic until smooth. You can add a flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken gravy, if you wish. Return reserved whole garlic cloves and onions to the gravy.
Slice brisket diagonally across the grain. Serve with the pan gravy.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings