Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wine Braised Beef Brisket

Another weekend in CT....And another opportunity to take advantage of a full kitchen. The cold air again encouraged me to cook something rich and hearty. My laziness encouraged me to cook a large volume of food so I could have leftovers all week, and leave some with the bf and his mom. I figure since I pretty much live there on the weekends I should earn my keep. I choose to do this in the form of delicious eats.

After I dropped Rafe at the library and picked up all my ingredients at the grocery store I stopped in at the booze mart. This particular wine shop was recommended by Lee, Rafe's mom. West Side Wines and Spirits is a small wine shop on Raymond Rd in West Hartford....it has a TON of wine, and for this time that I went in I can say they also have a helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable staff.

I wanted a recommendation for a wine. I know I like red, but beyond that I don't know much about what flavors go with what, or what to cook with. I always have a couple brands in my back pocket but I wanted to try something new. I told the eager staff member about what I was planning on making, and that I was looking for a delicious red that would reduce well, but also wouldn't be too expensive, and I would be inclined to drink the remaining wine with my dinner.

He suggested a Malbec (i love malbec) and lo and behold....it was only $7.99. I was skeptical that it would be any good...but I'm also cheap and this weekend state-to-state travel has forced me into a budget. So I bought it.

I loved it.
I don't remember what it's called - but I took the bottle's photo while I was cooking - because I knew I would forget. This is the wine. If you like deep, smooth, red wine then give it a shot. At $7.99 I was thrilled.

It was the perfect wine for the brisket recipe below....feel free to sub in your favorite red wine. I put this recipe together after reading several recipes for beef brisket and pot roast.

Wine Braised Beef Brisket
3-4lb beef brisket (visible fat trimmed)
3 onions
5 cloves garlic
80z baby bella mushrooms
2 stalks celery
6 carrots
smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 cups beef broth
canola oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Heat 2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Season the brisket liberally with salt, and pepper, and dust with smoked paprika. Once the oil is hot, place the brisket in the hot pot to sear. Five minutes for the first side, about 3 minutes for the second side. Make sure it develops a crust before you flip it! Once both sides are browned, remove the brisket from the pan and rest on a large plate.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease from the pan. Add sliced onions and celery to pan, reduce heat to medium. Cook until onions are caramelized, stirring frequently. This takes a while...be patient. Once the onions are beginning to soften, add the mushrooms. Once onions and mushrooms are soft and golden, add garlic and tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste begins to stick to the bottom of the pot and brown.
Add the red wine to the pot and deglaze the pan by scraping up all the burnt bits from searing the meat, cooking the onions, and the tomato paste. Bring wine to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to remove the bite of the alcohol.

Add the 4 cups of beef broth to the pot. Add the seared brisket back to the pot, making sure that it is covered by some onions and broth mixture. Add a little water - up to one cup, if the brisket is not covered by liquid.
Add carrots to the pot on top of the beef. Preheat the oven to 325. Cover the pot with a heatproof lid, and place pot in oven for 3-3 1/2 hours.
Cook until meat is tender, checking periodically to make sure meat is covered by water.
Once meat is tender, remove from pan and tent with aluminum foil. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and reduce until thick. Slice the brisket against the grain and pour the braising liquid over itServe with mashed potatoes and noodles. I was lucky enough to have Rafe make his famous garlic mashed....

This brisket was perfect for a cold day served with Rafe's mashed and a salad of spinach, walnuts, onions and pears. The leftovers made for a special Tuesday night dinner as well. I judged this brisket by the same standards as the best pot roast ever, my mother's.....and forgive me mom, but i think I may have a contender that can compete with yours!


  1. I'll have to look for that wine. Sounds like my type... good and cheap! And dinner looks fabulous! My boyfriend loves brisket so I may have to give this a try!

  2. Wow, that brisket looks out of this world! I would never think to make it, but after seeing these photos I just might have to! Very much looking forward to our Boston blogger event a week from tomorrow! :)

  3. With wine in it, I think it'll taste really delicious. Thanks a lot for that idea.

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