Lockdown Recipe of the Day: All-Day Brisket, Texas-style
Brisket needs love and time, after which it will reward you with tenderness and flavour. In Texas, they go big on spices. Be brave.
Note that most of the following measurements are in tablespoons, from 1 Tbs of pepper to no fewer than 5 Tbs of paprika. Don’t be shy: this cut of beef can take it, and time will mellow the flavour.
1 slab of brisket, about 4kg to 5kg
3 Tbs salt
4 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs fine black pepper
1 Tbs dried parsley
2 tsp chipotle salt (or cayenne pepper) (note: teaspoon, not tablespoon, in this instance)
12 oregano sprigs
5 onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
Water to cover the vegetables
1 tsp cornflour, mixed with a little cold water
Preheat the oven to 180℃. There’s no need to brown the meat. Clean and pat dry the whole slab of brisket. Combine all of the spices in a bowl and stir. Cover the brisket generously with the spice mix. Reserve any spice mix left over to go into the pot.
In a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven with a lid, sauté the onions and carrots gently with the remaining spices until softened. Add the oregano sprigs and cold water to cover. Place the brisket on top of this and submerge it as much as you can. Make sure the liquid goes under the brisket, to avoid the meat sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Put the lid on and put it in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the heat right down to 160℃ and cook for about seven hours. Check now and then and, if necessary, carefully turn the meat and submerge it again. Remove the brisket and set aside. Allow the cooking broth to cool, which will bring the fats to the surface. Skim off as much of the fat as you can. Heat the broth and thicken it by adding 1 heaped tsp cornflour mixed with water, and stir it in. Cook for a few minutes. Slice the brisket and lay the pieces in the broth to heat through. Serve with mashed potato and the gravy. DM/TGIFood
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