15-Pound Brisket for Two People?
I need help! I have a 15-pound beef brisket frozen whole, and I need to suggestions what to do with it for two people!
First, how do I cook a piece that large? Once it's cooked, I can probably break it into meal-sized portions and freeze. But I also need suggestions as to what to do with those too!
Appreciate any help!
In my youth, I learned that if you do the thawing in the fridge, you can refreeze it. How about thawing it in the fridge just enough so you can hack it into more manageable pieces, use one and repackage and refreeze the others?
N.B. For the sake of safety, I just checked this again and yup, it's correct. Here is a link to the USDA's fact sheet; the part about thawing in the fridge and refreezing is about halfway down the page or search for "refreezing."
If you corn a hunk of it, you don't have to cook it all at once. This is my mother's recipe to corn the beef. I've used this recipe for 40 years.
2 quarts water
1 cup salt
3 tbs sugar
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. mixed pickling spices
Combine in a stoneware crock and stir well. Add 5 - 6 lb. beef brisket. Cover, place in fridge and leave it for 5 to 7 days. (The recipe calls for it to sit on the counter, unrefrigerated, for 36 hours, but I don't do it that way anymore. Partly for food safety reasons, and partly because if you let it sit any longer than 36 hours, it tastes like a box of salt. With the refrigerated method, I have a couple days leeway in getting it into the cooking pot.)
Drain, place meat in dutch oven with water to cover, add one onion, quartered, a few cloves minced garlic and one or two bay leaves. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender, 4-6 hours.
Or cook in crockpot on low for 10 to 12 hours.
This makes the best corned beef hash, too!
You want to cook it all at once? Why not thaw, then cut, then cook? That way you can do a couple different dishes--pot roast, smoked brisket, cubed for stew, ground for chili--which of course you will have to freeze unless you are really, really, really hungry or are planning to have a party.
There's certainly nothing wrong with thawing and cooking the entire thing, allowing it to cool, slicing or cutting into whatever sized pieces you wish, then portioning and freezing smaller quantities (for 2 people) for the future. Reheat whatever you wish to serve fresh and enjoy, while having some delicious ready-made portions for a later time.