Red Wine Braised Brisket with Creamy Mushroom Sage Polenta

You’re not going to see me cooking a lot of steak here. I’m so tired of steaks. They’re boring. It tastes good for like 3 seconds of chewing and then once all the juices get consumed, you’re left chewing tasteless meat. If I’m cooking beef, I’m usually going to be cooking cheaper, less tender cuts of meat low and slow for at least a few hours till its falling apart tender. That’s when it becomes interesting. Then you can shred it and make a BBQ sandwich, you can make tacos, nachos, serve it with mashed potatoes, throw it on pizza. There is so much you can do with it just from one method of cooking. It’s 100% FOOL PROOF. I really don’t care if you don’t think you can cook. It requires no knife skills and you don’t have to worry about over cooking or under cooking. This has to be one of the easiest things you could ever make. I PROMISE. Give it a shot…and if you do, be sure to send me a photo (thefoodfreak@gmail.com)

Ingredients: Serves 4

Brisket:

2 1/2 lbs Beef Brisket (First Cut)

3/4 of a Bottle of Red Wine (the remaining 1/4 is for you to drink)

A Box of Beef Stock (You wont need all of it but just get a box, I think Kitchen Basics is the best)

2 Carrots

2 Celery Stalks

1 Onion

1 Head of Garlic

5 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

A Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley

1/3 of a Bunch of Fresh Thyme

3-4 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste

3 Bay Leafs

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

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First thing…preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Roughly chop the celery and carrots and quarter the onion…no need to take the skin off, everything is going to get strained at the end. Slice a head of garlic in half as well.

Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper on each side.

Put a dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat and add enough canola or vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pot. When the oil is real hot, add the brisket and let is sear. Make sure you let it develop a really nice crust, that’s where all the flavor comes from.

It should look like this, although I don’t know why that one little spot didn’t crust up. Its ok, it still turned out amazing.

Once you’ve got a nice crust on both side, remove the brisket for now and add in the onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper and let the cook down, breaking up the onion as it cooks. Once the onion has softened up, add the tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary and thyme and stir to combine. Once combined, add the wine and then work the brisket back into the pot. Finally, add enough beef stock to just barely cover the brisket. Bring it to a boil, put the cover on and throw it in the oven for around 3 hours.

After 2 1/2 – 3 hours, the brisket should be very soft and able to pull apart. Take it out of the pot and let it rest for a little.

Take a strainer and set it up over a bowl or a measuring cup and pour the contents of the pot in it and press all the vegetables to extract as much flavor as you can. Just take a wooden spoon and just squeeze all the juices out of the soft vegetables. You’ll see the remaining liquid will have a layer of fat that rises to the top…just skim that off, or if you have a fat separator, use that.

Pour that sauce in a pan and let it reduce over medium high heat. You want to see little bubbles constantly working on that sauce…that’s called double bubbles. Once its reduced, stir in a few tables spoons of butter and you’ll have the best sauce ever for your brisket.

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Mushroom Sage Polenta:

1 Lb Mixed Mushrooms, Sliced (I used cremini and shiitake)

1 Cup of Yellow Cornmeal or Polenta

3 Cups of Vegetable Stock

1 Cup of Whole Milk

3 Garlic Cloves, Minced

8-10 Sage Leaves, Thinly Sliced

A Knob of Butter

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

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Add the stock and the milk to a medium sized pot and heat just to the point that its about the boil and then slowly whisk in the polenta a little at a time making sure no lumps form. Stir it constantly for a minute or two until it starts to come together a little. You are going to think its done because it looks a little thick but its not, it will still taste a little raw. Turn the heat down as low as it can go and cook it for about 20 minutes. It might start to spit at you but its ok, that’s just what it does.

Mince the garlic. Slice each clove in half, then slice each half horizontally once, the make several vertical cuts across the top, then mince it up.

Pile the sage up on top of each other and roll it up a little, then thinly slice it.

Put a pan on the stove over medium high heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms brown and get soft, add the sage, stir to combine and cook for a couple more minutes and season it with salt and pepper and taste it.

Once the mushrooms are done, your polenta should be just about done as well. Add a knob of butter and then stir in the mushrooms.

Slice up the brisket, make a little mound of polenta on a plate, line up the pieces of brisket and pourĀ  that ridiculous sauce over the whole thing. If that’s not comforting, I don’t know what is.

If you make this, please email me a photo (thefoodfreak@gmail.com) or tweet me (@thefoodfreak).

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