Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

Gradually, SP is starting to re-incorporate beef into his diet. It's not very often, so when he does, it's a treat. This past weekend was a beef weekend - beef brisket.
Originally, I was craving my mom's BBQ brisket. Brisket cooked in the crock pot, shredded, and mixed with a homemade BBQ sauce. We ended up making Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze from Bon Appetit February 2012.
Although you can rub the brisket with the salt-pepper-paprika-cinnamon mixture just 2 hours in advance (3 hours if you count the hour the meat stands at room temperature), we rubbed ours Saturday evening and let it sit until after lunch on Sunday. As soon as the brisket hit the hot pan for browning, the house smelled amazing from the paprika & cinnamon.
This was the usual braising routine - brown the meat, saute onion, add braising liquids (beef broth, stout, soy sauce, bourbon, balsamic vinegar), add vegetables (celery, carrot, tomato) and other ingredients (brown sugar, thyme), add meat, cover and cook at 325 degrees for 4-4.5 hours.

The recipe says stout. We used JavaHead Stout, which has a coffee flavor, but we figured that would be OK since we've seen many coffee rubbed beef recipes.
Remove meat. Strain out solids. Reduce braising liquid. Make glaze. Glaze top of brisket and broil until browned & glazed. Enjoy. We used apricot preserves instead of peach because we had a apricot leftover from the holiday baking but no leftover peach.
The glaze ran all over the cookie sheet - we didn't broil it in the pot because we used a tall pot and were afraid the broiler would not really be able to broil the meat sitting deep in the pot. This is why we are considering buying a Dutch oven. We've been doing a lot of braising, but not in a wide pot, in a deep stock pot, and it would probably work a bit better with a wider, shallower pot.
But you could scoop up the glaze and spoon it on top the sliced brisket, which we did. It was delicious! We saved the strained vegetables and ate those on the side along with some spinach and some fried potatoes.
Slice some russets. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. Put a bit of olive oil in a pan. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until done, flipping halfway through. Next time we would use a non-stick pan. In spite of the olive oil, our potatoes stuck a bit. Also, they might be a little tastier with butter instead of olive oil!
 Nicely browned potatoes.
The brisket was tender and very flavorful. I could make out each flavor, the cinnamon, paprika, brown sugar, apricot but no one ingredient was overwhelming. The potatoes were a nice counterpart because they were so simple and lacked a strong flavor/seasoning. Definitely a 'make again' dish.

Maybe the best part of Brisket Sunday was that it was finally warm enough to open up the sunroom. We bought a small bistro table for the sunroom so we were able to comfortably eat our dinner in there (no balancing a plate on a lap), sip bourbon cocktails, and enjoy the open windows and warmish air. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll be able to get our deck furniture out of the garage, cleaned, and moved up onto the deck so we can eat out there, too.

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