Friday, October 1, 2010

Slow roasted beef brisket with apple cider-ginger BBQ sauce and caramelized sweet onions

I made this meal on a rainy Sunday back in August.  I knew I was picking up my new shipment of beef soon, so I was trying to rid my freezer of the older meat.  The recipe calls for brisket, but what I had on hand was a chuck roast.  The roast worked fine, but I prefer the recipe prepared with brisket. 

My taste for brisket has existed since I can remember.  My dad grew up in Dallas and loves barbeque.  I can’t recall a time that my parents didn’t have a smoked brisket or two in the freezer.  My dad has the meat shipped from Texas along with Smokey Joe’s BBQ sauce.  More often times than not, the brisket is cut up and placed on small potato rolls with a dollop of BBQ sauce to create a perfect little sandwich.  My stomach becomes a bottomless pit when those sandwiches are around; I swear I can down 15 of them.

I did score a brisket slab with my new shipment of beef, and I’m going to carefully decide how I will prepare it.

But back on that rainy day in August, chuck roast was the star of the Dutch oven.  The recipe is from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne.  I will save my lecture on the perfection of cooking with cast iron for another post, but let me just say this:  cast iron really is the best pan in the kitchen.  The Cast Iron Cookbook is probably my favorite cookbook (cover your ears, Martha).  Everything I have prepared from the book is good, hearty fare, the type of food that almost anyone will love.  This meal is no exception.

Apple Cider-Ginger Barbeque Sauce
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Caramelized Onions
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into quarters, then thinly sliced crosswise

1 beef brisket, 1 to 3 pounds

1.  To prepare the barbecue sauce, place the brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider venegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F.

3. To prepare the onions, spread the olive oil evenly in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Turn up the heat to medium, add the brisket, and cook, turning once, until seared on both sides, about 5 minutes.  You may need to add a bit more olive oil to keep the meat from sticking to the pan.

5. Remove from the heat and spread the barbecue sauce evenly over the top of the meat. Sprinkle the cooked onions over the brisket, cover the skillet tightly with foil, and bake until fork-tender, about 3 hours.  To serve, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.

You probably noticed I used my Dutch oven for the recipe instead of a cast iron skillet.  Whenever a recipe calls for a covered cast iron skillet, I tend to use a Dutch oven.  The lid seals tighter, and it is just overall easier to deal with.  And the Le Creuset Dutch oven is just so pretty, no?

Bon appetit.


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