Basic Brisket with Root Vegetables
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing or moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize it.
Brisket can be cooked many ways, including baking, boiling, and roasting. Basting of the meat is often done during the cooking. This normally tough cut of meat, due to the collagen fibers that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, is tenderized when the collagen gelatinizes, resulting in more tender brisket. The fat cap, which is often left attached to the brisket, helps to keep the meat from drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat.
Popular methods in the United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, and then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. The smoke from the woods and from burnt dripping juices further enhances the flavor. The finished meat is a variety of barbecue.Traditions among Ashkenazi Jews may include a kosher brisket for the Seder Passover meal. (We do carry brisket, but it is not kosher.)
Following is a basic brisket recipe made with root vegetables. All of which can be purchased at El Toro Gourmet Meats.
- 5 lb. (1 kg.) first-cut brisket
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 onions
- 4 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 turnip
- 1½ cups vegetable broth
- 1½ cups dry red wine
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, paprika, pepper and garlic powder.
- Pat the meat dry and cover on all sides with the spice mixture.
- Peel and dice all the vegetables.
- Place ¾ of the vegetables in a deep baking dish. Place the meat on top, followed by the remaining vegetables, and bake, uncovered, at 450°F for 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and add the wine and broth. Turn the oven down to 250°F. Cover the pan tightly, and return to the oven for 4-5 hours, until a fork goes into the meat with virtually no resistance. (If you remember, halfway through the cooking, take the pan out and turn the roast over, then return to the oven).
- Refrigerate overnight, then slice thinly against the grain and return to the pan. Reheat with the vegetables/sauce.
Yields: approximately 20 slices.