We had a pretty relaxing weekend, filled with building computers and playing with a few new lenses that we rented to try out – we’re thinking of buying a new one, so Kramer, being the genius that he is, thought we should give them a test drive first. Buying a new lens is a huge step, and I’m having a hard time deciding what to get, but it was fun messing around with them, anyway.
I made this brisket on Saturday, seeing as how Rosh Hashanah is next week, but due to scheduling conflicts, we won’t be able to make it up to see Kramer’s family in Westchester for the holiday. I figured it’d be fun to do a little pre-holiday brisket and share it with some friends. My new favorite cookbook is Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft; I’ve made a bunch of recipes from there that I will be posting soon, but for now, I just used his salsa verde recipe to rub my brisket with. I had no idea that Italians also had a version of salsa verde, although it is more like a pesto than what most people think of when they hear “salsa” – it’s made with parsley, olive oil, shallots, garlic, vinegar, and most importantly, capers, for that salty, tangy flavor that lends itself so well to the brisket. You need a lot of punch when you’re roasting a large piece of meat like brisket, and this salsa verde didn’t disappoint. I also roasted it with some beer in the bottom of the pan for added moisture. For a side dish, I wanted something bright and colorful – a friend was telling me how she can’t get enough red cabbage recently, so I thought a cabbage salad would be the perfect lighter pairing for the brisket. I again, used some pickled mustard seeds that I got out of the ‘wichcraft book, and tossed everything with carrots, fennel, shallots, agave, and lime juice. All in all, it was a delicious meal, if I don’t say so myself, and Kramer and I have been enjoying the leftovers for the past few days – I think we’re going to be making some tacos tonight!
Pour the beer or red wine into the bottom of your roasting pan (or, in my case, your makeshift roasting pan – be careful not to spill beer everywhere when taking the brisket in and out of the oven, like I did).
While your brisket cooks, make your salad. I pickled my mustard seeds last week, when I made a sandwich from the ‘wichcraft cookbook (which I will be posting next week, I think).
- 4-5 pounds brisket
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup salsa verde (recipe follows)
- ¾ cup dark beer or red wine
- 3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoons drained capers
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ small red cabbage, outer leaves removed, washed, and sliced thinly
- 4-5 medium carrots, sliced thinly
- 1 small bulb of fennel, sliced thinly and chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
- 1 tablespoon pickled mustard seeds (recipe follows – optional)
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- ¼ cup mustard seeds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Season your brisket well with salt and pepper, then rub the salsa verde over all sides. Place the brisket in a roasting pan, or in a pan on top of a cooling rack, fat side up.
- Cover the roasting pan well with aluminum foil, and place the brisket in the oven for 45 minutes. After that time, reduce your oven’s temperature to 275 degrees F and cook for another 3-4 hours, until fall-apart tender.
- Remove the brisket from the oven, keep covered, and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove the fat from the top of the brisket with tongs (it should slide right off), move to a cutting board, slice or shred, and serve alongside with the cabbage, carrot, and fennel salad, or with whatever else you prefer. This brisket will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. The leftovers make great sandwiches and/or tacos!
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Add the mixture to a food processor and process until they are well incorporated but not too smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. The sauce should be tangy and salty. Keeps well refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container and can easily be doubled.
- Combine your thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, and fennel in a large bowl (I used a mandoline to slice all of my vegetables – I highly recommend investing in one). Toss with the vegetables with the olive oil, agave nectar, mustard seeds (recipe follows – these are optional but I like the bite they add), lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes so that the flavors develop a bit. Serve cold alongside the brisket. This salad will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, and make a great sandwich or taco topping!
- In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water, vinegar, sugar, and dry mustard to a boil. Add in the mustard seeds and simmer for 5 minutes, until the seeds bloom, or double in size. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store the mustard seeds in the liquid, and they will keep well if refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. These are wonderful in salads (even tuna salad or egg salad), as well as with any kind of meat.