Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Brisket Book: A Love Story With Recipes

The Brisket Book
A Love Story with Recipes
by Stephanie Pierson
Hardcover, 224 pages

"Some foods will improve your meal, your mood, your day, your buttered noodles. Brisket will improve your life."
Stephanie Pierson

And so began the year-long journey of food writer and cookbook author Stephanie Pierson- in search of the best in brisket.
Brisket is family food, it is comforting and meltingly tender when cooked right. And, although Jewish bubbys have long held the title of masters of the brisket- it actually has quite a multicultural appeal.

The Brisket Book has recipes from many cultures, including some award-winning BBQ recipes and the recipes of celebrated chefs like John Besh and Anita Lo. 

The book is also filled with humourous anectdotes and asides- and one picture of a cute-patootie and his, er, cutie-patootie.

Chapters include:
1. Every Brisket Tells a Story
2. The Amazing Adventures of Brisket
3. Meet the Cow, Meet the Meat, Meet the Butcher
4. Basic Training
5. Do I Have a Brisket Recipe for You!
6. Me. Joan Nathan. A Brisket. Me. Nach Waxman. A Brisket.
7. Pro Brisket
8. In Which Chris Kimball Interrogates a Brisket (Christ Wins)
9. Brisket Has Many Sides. What Goes with It
10. Cheers! What to Drink with Brisket
11. The Amorous Brisket
12. Brisket Doesn't Stand Still


Temple Emanu El Brisket
—From The Brisket Book

Serves 8–10

Quivering cranberry slices that melt into the meat and slowly caramelize give this brisket its lovely character. Even better, it takes so little effort for this sweet alchemy to work. Roberta Greenberg, the long-time assistant to the rabbis at this well-known New York City synagogue and the keeper of this recipe, suggests reducing the sauce on the stove after reheating it if you prefer it thicker. It is good enough to make you convert.

1 (4- to 5-pound) beef brisket
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large onions, peeled and cut into eighths
2 (14-ounce) cans jellied cranberry sauce, sliced

Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with the garlic powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Tightly cover the brisket with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.

When you’re ready to finish the dish, preheat the oven to 500°F.

Unwrap the brisket, place it in a roasting pan, and roast for 20 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from the oven and decrease the temperature to 350°F. Place the onions under and around the brisket, then cover the top of the meat with the cranberry sauce slices. Tightly cover the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and cook until fork-tender, about 3 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brisket to cool. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board, trim the fat, then slice the meat against the grain to the desired thickness. Return the slices to the pan, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice, cover the pan with foil, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove any congealed fat from the top of the sauce. Heat the brisket, covered, at 350°F for 20 minutes, then, uncovered, for another 20 to 30 minutes, until hot and the sauce has reduced a bit. Serve with the sauce.