Friday, February 27, 2009

Bitchin Brisket

Generally when you think of cooking a brisket, you boil it first in a pot of water...If you do that, it's fine but I always start roasting the brisket in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover about 1/3 of the meat. When the drippings begin simmering, baste the meat with the drippings several times during cooking. The brisket comes out very tender, but with a roasted flavor. "Always slice the meat on the diagonal - it's guaranteed to be tender and juicy."

Bitchin Brisket & Gravy

1 fresh brisket of beef, first cut (about 5 pounds)
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups chopped carrots
6 large garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons fat skimmed from the drippings or 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cups strained pan drippings (save the vegetables, if you wish)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub the brisket with the salt and pepper and
place it, fat-side-up, in a roasting pan. Pour in enough water to come about two-thirds up the sides of the brisket. Sprinkle the carrots and garlic into the water around the roast.

2. Roast the brisket, without covering it, until it is browned and tender, about 3 hours, spooning the pan drippings frequently over the meat. If necessary, add a little extra water during the cooking to keep the liquid at least halfway up the sides of the brisket.

3. Transfer the brisket to a serving platter.

To make the gravy:
Skim off any fat from the drippings into large skillet. You need 3 tablespoons of fat; if necessary, just add a little butter to equal this amount. Strain the drippings into a large heatproof measuring cup, reserving the vegetables for the gravy, if you wish.

4. Heat the fat in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to soften. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour mixture bubbles all over, about 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the straining drippings and continue cooking and whisking until the gravy thickens. Remove the gravy from the heat and stir in the reserved vegetables, if you wish.

5. To serve: Slice the brisket on the diagonal, about 1/2-inch thick. Serve it up hot with a generous helping of gravy ladled over the top. This goes great with mashed potatoes.

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