Dutch Oven Brisket - help!!
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 :)
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 ;)
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!
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.
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."