Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beef Brisket with Onions, Carrots and Tomato Wine Gravy

Slow cooking is the way to get rich, juicy meat from a not naturally tender cut of beef. This dish is perfect with smashed potatoes or egg noodles. If you cannot find small whole onions, feel free to substitute whole shallots or use large onions and slice them into quarters.

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 ½ tablespoons
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
Kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 (4-pound) beef brisket
1 tablespoon grill seasoning *
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
12 assorted petite onions, about 2-inches diameter, peeled
2 cups dry red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons flour mixed with ¼ cup chilled water (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Finely chop the garlic and rosemary together. Sprinkle the Kosher salt over top and use the flat side of your knife to mash the mixture into a paste. Place the garlic paste into a bowl. Stir in ¼ cup olive oil. Set this mixture aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the brisket with grill seasoning. Place the brisket into the Dutch oven and brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the carrots and onions around the meat. Brush the veggies and brisket with the garlic/oil mixture. Pour in the red wine and the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and roast until the meat is fork tender, about 3 to 3 ½ hours.

Remove the brisket from the pan and place it onto a serving platter. Use a slotted spoon to remove the veggies to the same platter. Cover the meat and veggies with aluminum foil.

For a thickened sauce, place the Dutch oven onto the stove top over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour/water mixture until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Check seasonings. Pour the gravy into a sauce boat.

Cut the brisket across the grain into ¼-inch slices. Top with a ladle full of the red wine gravy and garnish with fresh parsley.

Yield: Enough to feed 6 with extras for midnight sandwiches
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours

Sources and Substitutions
*Grill seasoning is a combination of garlic powder, minced onion, red and black pepper, salt and spices like paprika and oregano. You can prepare your own for use on everything from steaks to poultry. Or you can purchase grill seasoning already prepared. I prefer Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning which is found on the spice aisle of your grocery store.

Ask your butcher for beef brisket from a source that produces humanely raised cows that are not raised with hormones or unnecessary steroids.

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