Sunday, December 28, 2008

Comfort food

This is the food I grew up with, and when I go home, some variation on this is usually served. It's perfect for a cold snowy weekend. You cook it on Saturday, warming up the house and giving it a nice aroma, and then serve it on Sunday. Since I took Friday off, I cooked on Friday and served on Saturday accompanied by some roasted vegetables. And, as a first course, Curried Sweet Potato and Apricot soup, as blogged by Bittman (not part of the comfort food concept, but I'd been wanting to play with it....and it's definitely worth doing again).

Bronx Braised Beef Brisket

3-5 lb. Flat beef brisket.
Garlic powder
1 Big onion
1/3-1/2 cup tomato sauce, basic canned kind

  • Lightly brown the onion in olive oil
  • Coat the brisket with salt, garlic powder and paprika
  • Put meat and onions in a roasting pot
  • Add water to about ½ inch
  • Cook in 375-400 degree oven, uncovered for 1 ½ - 2 hours, until done. Meat should be brown
  • Take meat out of the pot, and let cool down separately.
  • Strain pot drippings, and mush the onions through the strainer
  • Add tomato sauce to drippings.
  • Add boullion or other flavoring to taste (optional...I've never had to do this)
  • Put drippings sauce in refrigerator. After it has cooled, skim fat off.
  • Put meat in refrigerator. After it is cool (next day) cut across the grain into slices about 1/8 inch.
  • When ready to serve put sliced meat and sauce into a saucepan, and simmer on top of the stove for a little while, depending on how tender the meat is. If tough, about ½-hour or more. If tender, less is OK.

I don't eat a whole lot of meat anymore, so I don't make this very often. Two-three times per year, at most. And I pretty much make it exactly like this each time, but I've been pondering some modifications, such as:

  • A handful of wild mushrooms, like Chanterelles, or something earthy
  • Pimenton instead of plain paprika
  • A Lebanese spice blend: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, fenugreek
Some day, perhaps!

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