Right around Rosh Hashanah, someone is inevitably going to ask if you have a good brisket recipe.
Each cook you ask almost always responds, “I’ve got the best brisket recipe in the world.”
A brisket is one of the most versatile cuts of meat. You can roast it in the oven, cook it on top of the stove, brine it to make corned beef, or barbecue or smoke it on your grill. Brisket isn’t some snobby dish you can’t pronounce or afford. It’s a real “family and friends” meal. It is an ideal cut of meat to serve. It’s easy to cook, relatively inexpensive and the leftovers are as good as if not better than the first time around.
Always cook your brisket with the fat on, then trim it off afterward. It should always be cooked long and slow. If it comes out dry or tough, you cooked it on too high a heat and probably didn’t put in enough water or broth for a good braise.
Since I tried the following recipe, based on one from Marcy Goldman, it has become my all-time favourite. I’ve made it countless times since discovering it, and everyone I’ve served it to has asked for the recipe.
Yes, there are three whole heads of garlic in this roast! But I promise you that the garlic won’t be overwhelming – and once you’ve made this recipe you’ll throw all your other brisket recipes away! Whole cooked garlic is far milder than processed garlic when cooked. The more you process garlic, the stronger the garlic flavour. Incidentally, you can use this same recipe substituting a whole chicken.
When the meat is done, you can mash the roasted garlic cloves into the pan sauce or leave them whole. I like to serve this with mashed potatoes and mash some of the garlic cloves into the potatoes.
GARLIC AND DIJON BRISKET
1 brisket (6 to 7 lb.)
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
2 tbsp. Dijon style mustard
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef bouillon
3 whole bulbs of garlic, separated and peeled but not crushed
Liberally dust brisket with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Place brisket in a large roasting pan. Smear on mustard, then pour on red wine and bouillon. Surround roast with garlic cloves. Cover pan well with foil and cook for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the meat from the pan and slice into serving portions, removing fat as you do. At this point you can freeze the meat and gravy separately. Otherwise, return meat to the pan and add more bouillon (and wine) if necessary to make enough sauce. If the meat isn’t tender enough, return it to the oven and roast until tender.
Here’s a tip to peel your garlic cloves quickly and easily. Place the separated cloves, one head at a time, into a lidded jar and shake vigorously. The paper-like peel will come right off. I keep a separate jar for just this purpose.
If you want something quick and easy to do with your leftover brisket. Chop it, add some store-bought smoky barbecue sauce, reheat it and serve it on a bun with pickles and cole slaw. Serves 7 to 9.
GARLIC MASHED POTATOES
2 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup brisket gravy garlic pods from roast
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop. Stir in mayonnaise, gravy and salt and pepper. Blend potatoes with an electric mixer or hand potato masher until desired consistency is achieved. Makes 8 servings.