This is my favourite type of cooking. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good recipe and I love looking through our many, many recipe books to decide what we’re going to cook. Sometimes though, you’ve just got to make it up and go with it. Unfortunately (for me) that means I have to type out the ingredients, which I haven’t done recently, as it takes so long, but for you, our loyal blog followers, nothing is too much trouble.
So, brisket. Not something I knew too much about 8 years ago, but something which I now love. It does need a long time to cook and I think we may have blogged a slow cooker recipe a long time ago. It is, however, cheap. I used a 2kg ‘bone in’ brisket for this, which cost less than £8 and serves 4 people.
If you aren’t confident in the kitchen, a roast dinner is a very good place to start. I grew up learning hints and tips from my mum (she has no idea and/or will never admit how much she taught me). A brisket joint was not one that she cooked. However, Liz’s Jewish grandmother was no stranger to it. Hence my introduction to a nice brisket.
Once you can cook a simple roast, which is really all about timing, you can start to experiment. My inspirations in the kitchen have always been my mum and her mum (my gran) and I always wonder what I would have grown up eating if they had access to all the fantastic ingredients we take for granted today. This recipe reverts back to the very basics I grew up with ( and a few we take for granted, like chilli and garlic) and I hope you enjoy it.
2kg bone in brisket joint
5 red onions
2 green chillis
5 cloves of garlic
Bottle red wine
500ml bottle coke (full fat, leaded)
Couple sprigs thyme
Coupe sprigs Rosemary
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for browning
The idea was for a sweet sticky gravy to accompany a slow cooked, falling off the bone, beef joint.
Preheat oven to 120C, 230F, gas mark ‘as low as you can get’.
Cut the onions and shallots into chunky slices. Cut the chillis by halving them lengthwise and then into large bits. (We kept the seeds in but you do what you like). Crush and roughly chop the garlic. Put all the above with the sprigs of thyme and rosemary into a large roasting tin and mix with your hands.
Push the onions, etc, into a pile and then pour the coke and wine around the outside. Brown the joint by using a large pan with a little oil at as high a temperature as you can. This step is not essential but does help make the gravy browner.
Place the joint on the pile of onions. Cover the roasting tin with foil and cook for 7-8 hours. Don’t check it. Don’t even look at it. It will be fine. The photo below was taken after 8 hours cooking.
Remove the meat from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Pour the contents of the roasting tin through a sieve into a saucepan. Whisk in a dessert spoon of flour and continue to whisk over the heat to make the gravy. Season the gravy as desired. Remember you haven’t added an salt yet. Serve with roast potatoes and peas.
We used all the fat, the onions from the pan, any left over gravy, and the bones, to make beef stock for another dish.