Monday, April 30, 2012

Brisket Beauty

I realized two things last week. Actually three. First of all, I realized that I have gone over a week without writing a post on this less than stupendous blog, which constitutes letting the thing go stale. Stale is bad. Second, I stopped just long enough to actually think about everything that is currently on my plate that once seemed like a huge dinner platter, then slowly shrank to an hors d'oeuvre plate and now seems the size of a small dessert or custard dish. When in fact, the plate - the 24 hours we all have - didn't change at all. I have merely packed it so full I just can't see it any more. Along with the examination of my current commitments came the understanding that I actively participated in all of the actions leading up to what is now, in essence, my fierce clinging to a runaway train. Finger nails dug in deep trying not to be tossed from the ride. Yet I created the ride. I dreamt it up, put it into action and watched it take off, for better or worse. While there are moments that I struggle to keep up with it all...I wouldn't change one thing. The truth is...(gasp!)...I'm an adrenaline junkie. I like thrive in craziness. Possibly because I grew up in craziness. It feels like home. Perhaps. Not that I really would ever want to go back there, but still. Work is fun for me. I love it. I do need down time - we all do - but without a full to-do list...I'm like a lost puppy. So I'll keep my full plate, for now. Third, and finally, I decided last week that a decent goal for this little ole blog of mine would be to manage a single recipe post per week and a fairly decent Photo Friday post every week. I know. Meager. I so enjoy posting three to four recipes per week - partly because I have this stinking obsession with my camera and food photography - yet until my runaway train slows to the pace of tug boat, I'm going to have to keep this hobby on the back burner...where we'll simmer it nice and slow and feed it occasionally. Sort of like a crock pot. I hope you'll stick with me through the famine.

Now, for the good stuff. I like brisket, but often tire of having it the same old way - BBQ. Don't get me wrong. It's good stuff - finger lickin' good. Yet a BBQ brisket is heavy - very filling if you're super hungry or feeding a lot of boys (which is a regular occurrence around here), but not so great when I'm looking for something lighter. So here we go...

First, season the brisket - don't hold back, get crazy with it - and put the brisket seasoned side down in a large pan (fat side should be up...even if it's labeled "trimmed", there is still always a side with a thin layer of should see the uncircumcised ones...just sayin'). I used lots of garlic powder, kosher salt, cumin, and black pepper. Pour on 1 cup red wine and two cans beef broth. Cover with two yellow onions, sliced and about 6 cloves of garlic, minced. Then cover tightly with foil and cook low and slow (250 degrees) for a long time - 3 to 4 hours or even up to 6 hours depending on the size of your brisket.

When tender, remove the brisket and onions from the sauce and pulse in a food processor until shredded. Pour the sauce into a large pot and bring to a simmer, whisking in 1 tablespoon corn starch to thicken the sauce just a bit. Taste and season accordingly. After being pulsed in the food processer, the beef and onions should look similar to this:

Stir the shreeded beef into the sauce. It should look something like this:

My favorite part is tossing together a fresh pico. I used six plum tomatoes, seeded. One yellow onion, chopped. A tablespoon or so fresh lime juice, some pepper, kosher salt and about 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro. I love cilantro. You could easily add some jalapeno's to this, but I'm not that kind of girl.  

You are now ready to assemble your taco. I started with a corn tortilla, topped with the brisket mixture, shredded romaine lettuce, pico, and finally with crumbled feta cheese. DelishIf you're throwing caution to the wind and care nothing about cholesterol, then top with brie instead of feta - so yummy. 

Brisket Tacos

1 3lb. brisket
2 large yello onions
1 cup red wine
2 cans beef broth
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. corn starch
garlic powder
kosher salt
feta cheese

Pico de Gallo

6 plum tomatoes, seeded an chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro
1 Tbs. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

For Pico: stir the above together and set aside.
For Brisket: generously season brisket with garlic powder, cumin, pepper and salt. Place seasoned side down in a roasting pan. Top with sliced onion and minced garlic. Cover with foil and cook at 250 degrees for 3 to 4 hours. Remove brisket from pan and cool then pulse in a food processor until shredded. Pour broth and wine sauce into a large pot and heat to a simmer whisking in corn starch and allowing to thicken slightly. Stir shredded brisket into sauce and heat through. Assemble your tacos and enjoy!