Sweet and Sour Holiday Brisket

by Anne Bennett on April 14, 2014

cookbook

In lieu of a picture of succulent Holiday brisket, here’s Deb’s excellent cookbook.

Today I’ve got my first beef brisket in the slow cooker. It’s been simmering for just two hours, yet the aroma has already converted me — I’ve become a bonafide brisket fan. The way the kitchen smells makes me think that this must be why techies coined the phrase OMG!

The recipe comes from Deb Perelman, proprietor of Smitten Kitchen, my absolutely favorite food blog.

Deb is a self-taught cook who lives in New York City and turns out amazing recipes in what we in the Midwest would call a minuscule kitchen. ¬†When her first cookbook was published in late 2012, it quickly jumped to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list and has remained there ever since. Why? Because Deb’s recipes work. While not all of them are light, they are a home cook’s answer to really delicious real food.

I’m not normally a brisket-aficionado, but a traditional meal seems to be in order on this first day of Passover. Here’s Deb’s wonderful recipe; if you get it into your slow cooker in the next day or so, you can have it for dinner the following night when it will be at its peak both in flavor and tenderness.

Shalom and Happy Passover to my Jewish friends. To everyone else, enjoy!

4- to 5-pound beef brisket
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for initial seasoning of meat
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beef stock (I use Rachael Ray’s brand)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. red chili flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder

Season the meat generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Whisk all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Place meat in slow cooker and pour sauce over it. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours.

When brisket is cooked but still hot, use a spoon to scrape off any large fat deposits around the edges of the meat. Transfer the brisket and its sauce to a baking dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Deb says this will enhance the flavor and texture of the meat.

An hour before you’re ready to serve it, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Remove dish from the fridge and remove any solidified fat with a slotted spoon.

Carefully remove the meat from its sauce and place it on a cutting board. Cut the brisket into 1/4-to-1/2-inch slices and carefully place the sliced meat back into the sauce. (Use a spatula for this.) Spoon the sauce over the meat, cover and reheat in the oven until bubbling at the edge.

Note added later: I froze the leftover sliced brisket for two weeks. This weekend I thawed and re-heated it with barbecue sauce and served it on whole wheat buns with a fresh, crunchy cabbage slaw. Amazingly tender and juicy. As good as restaurant fare.

Serves 10 to 12.
For 10 servings, each serving is 7 WW PP.

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