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Dutch Oven Brisket - help!!

macrogal Sep 5, 2007 12:46 PM

This shiksa has been assigned the brisket for Rosh Hashanah dinner, and I've never made one. I recently bought a large Le Creuset doufeu, and I thought the brisket would be a perfect christening (pardon the religious confusion) for it. I'm looking an approximately a 10-lb brisket for around 20 people. How long and at what temperature? On the stove on ultralow/intermittent or in the oven? Your help is sincerely appreciated :)

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  1. monavano RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 01:08 PM

    I would highly suggest you buy Molly Stevens "All About Braising". But short of that, you want to season the brisket with s&p (dry it well with paper towels first). Place in a large pan (roasting pan) and brown 4-5 inches under broiler for 2-6 minutes each side until you get it browned and a bit crusty. Saute onions and prepare your braising liquid in your dutch oven. Lower in the brisket. Cover and let braise in a 300 degree oven for about 4-5 hours. It might need more; that's a huge brisket. You'll also want to turn it after the first hour, then after the second hour.
    Another suggestion is to make it 2 days ahead of time. This allows you to defat the liquid and the flavors with mingle and improve. Slice diagonally and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.
    This is a basic method for braising brisket. You can customize the recipe to give it the flavors you want. Still....get the book ;)


    1. scubadoo97 RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 01:33 PM

      Like monavano said try to cook it at least a day ahead. This will do several things. You can take time and it will need some time to cook it slow until all the connective tissue has dissolved. I usually reserve the liquid in a separate container so I can defat it after it's been in the fridge a day. The brisket will slice much better when it's cold and not tear up. Cut across the grain. My mom would pull it out after 3/4 of the way before it got too tender and cut it then put it back in the oven. I prefer to just cook it until it's done and slice the next day. Also like monavano said browning is important. You can do it without browning but you loose some complex flavors that come from the carmelization during browning. I have done them at 300*-350* and they come out good but the lower you cook it the better it will be but will take more time. Start out with the meat room temp and put it into a cold oven. The slower the meat comes up to temperature the better. The more time the meat stays below 120* the more accelerated ageing occurs that weakens the connective tissue and reduces the time needed at the higher fiber drying temperatures. The meat needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160-180* to allow the collagen to dissolve. Maybe start at 200* for a couple of hours then raise the oven to 250* for another couple of hours and check every half hour or so until the meat is tender and is easily penetrated with a fork. Let the meat cool in the juice since this will allow the meat to absorb some of the liquid. After removing the meat you can reduce some of the liquid to increase flavor is desired. Remember to reheat gently as well. It doesn't take much to dry meat out. My favorite meats are the tough cheap cuts that when you cook them low and slow become something sublime. Good luck on the brisket and happy Rosh Hashanah!

      1. d
        Diane in Bexley RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 01:38 PM

        Here is a great brisket recipe from Joan Nathan, who is a well known Jewish cooking teacher: You will need to double the ingredients as you must have a whole brisket (first cut and deckel). Be careful when you slice the meat, as the grain changes. Brisket is best made ahead, chilled, de-fatted, sliced and re-heated. It also freezes great. If you haven't already bought the meat, I personally would buy 2 first cut briskets, the deckel is kind of very fatty.

        2 teaspoons salt
        Freshly ground pepper to taste
        1 5-pound brisket of beef, shoulder roast of beef, chuck roast, or end of steak
        1 garlic clove, peeled
        2 tablespoons vegetable oil
        3 onions, peeled and diced
        1 10-ounce can tomatoes
        2 cups red wine
        2 stalks celery with the leaves, chopped
        1 bay leaf
        1 sprig fresh thyme
        1 sprig fresh rosemary
        1/4 cup chopped parsley
        6 to 8 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

        Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the brisket and rub with the garlic. Sear the brisket in the oil and then place, fat side up, on top of the onions in a large casserole. Cover with the tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary.

        Cover and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 3 hours, basting often with pan juices.

        Add the parsley and carrots and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more or until the carrots are cooked. To test for doneness, stick a fork in the flat (thinner or leaner end of the brisket). When there is a light pull on the fork as it is removed from the meat, it is "fork tender."

        This dish is best prepared in advance and refrigerated so that the fat can be easily skimmed from the surface of the gravy. Trim off all the visible fat from the cold brisket. Then place the brisket, on what was the fat side down, on a cutting board. Look for the grain - that is, the muscle lines of the brisket - and with a sharp knife, cut across the grain.

        When ready to serve, reheat the gravy.

        Put the sliced brisket in a roasting pan. Pour the hot gravy on the meat, cover, and reheat in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Some people like to strain the gravy, but I prefer to keep the onions because they are so delicious.

        Serve with farfel (boiled egg barley noodles), noodle kugel, or potato pancakes. A colorful winter salad goes well with this.

        Yield: 8 to 10 servings

        Tip: Try adding a jar of sun-dried tomatoes to the canned tomatoes. They add a more intense flavor to the brisket.

        1. o
          ozhead RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 02:16 PM

          Start this in the morning.

          1. Dry the brisket and, if it's very fatty, trim off some (but by no means all) of the fat.
          2. Rub the brisket with soy sauce, sprinkle with a little garlic powder and black pepper.
          3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a teaspoon or so of oil. Brown the brisket on both sides -- caramelize that sucker.
          4. Put the browned brisket in a flat roasting pan with a rim.
          5. Add a cup of chicken or beef broth.
          6. Cover the pan with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping the foil around the rim of the pan. The idea is to seal it as completely as you can.
          7. Put the pan in a 185-degree oven.
          8. Go to work, or school, or wherever you go. If you stay home, forget about the brisket all day.
          9. When you come home from school or work (or wherever you go), or 10 - 12 hours after you put the pan in the oven, take it out of the oven. If you have crimped the foil effectively, you will not smell much.
          10. Take the foil off the pan. NOW you smell it. Mmmmmm.
          11. Remove the brisket from the pan and put it on a plate. It will be very tender, so you might want to use two spatulas to support it as you remove and plate it. Tent it with foil.
          12. Strain the liquid and use it to make gravy.
          13. Slice the brisket against the grain with a long, slim knife. Serve it with the gravy.

          Alternatively, you can start it at night and take it out when you get up in the morning, then refrigerate the brisket (not in the cooking liquid) all day. Reheat it for an hour or so in a 200-degree oven.

          As my niece says about brisket cooked this way: "You don't need no teef to eat Uncle Oz's beef."

          1. l
            leetmom7 RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 05:28 PM

            Brisket: a good reason/excuse to buy an electric knife!

            1 Reply
            1. re: leetmom7
              bkhuna RE: leetmom7 Sep 5, 2007 08:33 PM

              A braised brisket won't need a knife at all. After hours of slow braisning, the meat falls apart.

              I wouldn't serve a brisket so tough as to need a knive.

            2. bkhuna RE: macrogal Sep 5, 2007 08:32 PM

              In the oven most definitely! You want to braise a long time it with just enough liquid to make that thing break down and get tender. Make it the day ahead and let it cool, that makes de-fatting it very easy are gives time for all the flavors to come together.

              As for recipes, there are millions. Try here: http://www.jewish-food.org/recipes/br...

              Enjoy Bubeleh!

              1. QueenB RE: macrogal Sep 6, 2007 07:10 AM

                This recipe from Ina Garten is really good:

                The most important thing with brisket is low and slow!

                11 Replies
                1. re: QueenB
                  ozhead RE: QueenB Sep 6, 2007 08:18 AM

                  Low and slow are important in many areas of life.

                  1. re: ozhead
                    macrogal RE: ozhead Sep 13, 2007 10:16 AM

                    Ok gang - brisket is in the oven even as we speak! I'll report more later...

                    1. re: macrogal
                      QueenB RE: macrogal Sep 13, 2007 12:00 PM

                      I'll cross my fingers for you!

                      1. re: QueenB
                        macrogal RE: QueenB Sep 13, 2007 03:27 PM

                        Oh lordy - Queenie, Ozhead, et al - I just went home at lunch to check on it and it STRONGLY resembled shoe leather at 6 hours. Am I doin something wrong? Or does it just need another 6 hours of cooking to turn into the fally-aparty goodness I desire? WHEREFORT ART MY SPOONABLE BEEF? Help!

                        1. re: macrogal
                          bkhuna RE: macrogal Sep 13, 2007 03:39 PM

                          Oh dear! After six hours in simmering liquid, it should be tender. It is simmering IN liquid isn't it?

                          1. re: bkhuna
                            macrogal RE: bkhuna Sep 13, 2007 04:37 PM

                            Yep, mostly in liquid, maybe I need to flip over? It's in the oven at 185.

                            1. re: macrogal
                              bkhuna RE: macrogal Sep 14, 2007 08:43 AM

                              Temperature was way to low to braise. The liquid has to simmer in order for the meats connective tissue to break down.

                          2. re: macrogal
                            rich in stl RE: macrogal Sep 13, 2007 03:45 PM

                            Six hour brisket like shoe leather? Keep cooking. We do brisket for 14-16 hours at 250* - with oak wood smoke - I love BBQ/smoked brisket.

                            I used to have an oven cooked recipe that involved a package of dry onion soup mix, water and sealing the meat in the pan with aluminum foil. Anyone have this recipe?

                            1. re: rich in stl
                              mschow RE: rich in stl Sep 14, 2007 07:45 AM

                              I tried that recipe with brisket. Package of onion soup mix, bottle of chili sauce, can of beer. Shoes for the entire family after 5 hours. I'm going to try it again, but at much lower temperature than the recipe called for. I had to throw all the meat away...sigh.

                            2. re: macrogal
                              ozhead RE: macrogal Sep 13, 2007 04:40 PM

                              Don't know what to tell you, mac. I made a brisket yesterday using the method I suggested above, putting it in a 185-degree oven at 6:30 a.m. and taking it out at about 6 p.m., and it was tender and delicious. I hope yours turned out well after more cooking!!

                              1. re: ozhead
                                macrogal RE: ozhead Sep 13, 2007 04:42 PM

                                Good lord I hope so - leaving work in about 45 minutes to go check on it (at which point it will have been going for about 10 hours). Fingers crossed....

                    2. m
                      macrogal RE: macrogal Sep 13, 2007 08:25 PM

                      Success! It's succulent. Yay!!! Now into the fridge separately from the juice. Tomorrow I'll slice it cold, defat the juice. Then - what do you guys think? Reduce the juice as I can and do the usual flour/fat gravy thing? Or should I leave it as is?

                      And I've ordered a copy of All About Braising....I'm so looking forward to cooking my way through it this fall. :)

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: macrogal
                        QueenB RE: macrogal Sep 14, 2007 07:27 AM

                        Hooray! That's exactly why you don't want to take brisket out too early...it takes time for all those fibers to break down.

                        What recipe did you use?

                        1. re: QueenB
                          macrogal RE: QueenB Sep 14, 2007 09:27 AM

                          It was what I believe is the "traditional" one - bottle of heinz chili sauce, packet of onion soup, can of beer. However, I followed Oz's directions and rubbed the brisket with soy sauce and granulated garlic and salt and pepper first, then broiled to give it some browning. It's....well, this is my first brisket, and after hearing all of my Jewish friends rhapsodize about their mother's briskets, you can imagine my surprise when I tasted it and discovered that it's pot roast. GOOD pot roast, of course, but - pot roast.

                          1. re: macrogal
                            ozhead RE: macrogal Sep 14, 2007 10:16 AM

                            The Protocols of the Elders of Zion caution the Chosen People never to reveal that brisket is actually pot roast. Now that you know the secret, all you have to do is get circumcized and you will be one of us! MUAhahahahahaha

                        2. re: macrogal
                          ozhead RE: macrogal Sep 14, 2007 08:09 AM

                          See? I TOLD you! Long and slow, long and slow.

                          For mine, I made flour/fat gravy with the strained juices, using the fat from the meat. I made 2 cups of gravy, so 4 TBS flour and 4 TBS fat -- there wasn't quite enough fat from the meat, so I fleshed it out with olive oil. I like to season this kind of gravy with salt and pepper, thyme, a splash of soy sauce, and a little sugar (maybe half a teaspoon or a bit more for the 2 cups). I also added some thinly-sliced (2 mm blade on the Cuisinart) and sauteed mushrooms.

                          By the way, if you have some of the juices left over after you make your gravy, I'd advise you to heat a little of it and pour it over the sliced meat on the serving platter -- not to soak it, just to dampen it a little. Or, in the alternative, put a little of the heated juices on the serving platter first, and lay the sliced brisket on the liquid.


                          1. re: macrogal
                            maggiej RE: macrogal Nov 12, 2008 08:56 AM

                            i would not store SEPARATELY from the juice—you want the meat to slurp it up and continue to get flavorful as it chills...

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