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Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Flaming Biscuit! The King of All Briskets

Now many of you kids are aware of the fact that I am a vegetarian , but there are few foods as evocative of wonderful childhood memories quite like the perfection that is the KING of carnivore cuisine for the masses - the corned brisket , and I'm making one for at least a couple of holiday events and other occasions this year. Try this out , it is GUARANTEED to make an impression .. and here's how :

Firstly , dice up Walla Walla onion , a stalk of celery , a carrot , and half a head of garlic and fry in a wee bit of olive oil in a large pot until they happlily glisten in the light like an old grandmother's smile .

Pour a couple of litres of water (or half a gallon , for you lazy Amerks ) into the pot - stand back - it might bite you with the oil-vs-water action , and patiently wait for 5 minutes while this goes happy at high heat .

Then we have Mr. Brisket . O.K. , kids , many many recipes state to remove this handsome fruit of the Gods from the bag . DO NOT DO THIS!!! Instead , perforate the bag roughly a million times on the top side with a fork . Gently place Briskie into the pot of boiling mirepoix and boil it for a good 20 minutes or so . Don't freak out if you go outside for a smoke and forget about it for a while , just reduce your overall cooking time . Then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours based on a 900 gram (2 pound ) roast .

Be patient - go grocery shopping , play with your dog , choke your chicken , but LEAVE IT ALONE!! You could even write a blog detailing your experiences with the glorious beef while reminiscing about your grandmother and feeling blessed to be able to use her knowledge to bring Brisket Extraordinaire to the masses .

My mum's mum was a passionate and able lady who wasted little that she had and had a beautiful bright mind until the last moment I saw her alive . She had a difficult but gratifying life and could fix almost anything and cook - oh , she was without equal . Possibly the most supreme compliment I have ever received is when she proclaimed me to be her equal and possibly superior in the kitchen , but the truth is , if not for her , I would have NEVER mastered bagels , chili sauce , roast turkey , or the million uses for chick peas . She was truly one of a kind , not just in my eyes , but in the minds of everyone she met . One could be a homeless alcoholic and she would invite you in for a hot meal - everyone was treated as a guest of the highest regard in my grandmother's home . Hundreds if not thousands of down-on-their luck folks found hope and understanding via a few hours in Granny Annie's kitchen . If I become a fraction as remarkable as this phenomenal being i will be a success. ....but back to the brisket...

After patiently awaiting the sumptuous beast , carefully open the bag and deposit any stray pieces , liquid , and fat back into the stock pot and bring it to a ferocious boil . Take the brisket and lovingly douse it with pepper and a bit of soy and brown sugar as well as paprika (tip : Ras el Hanout = GOLD) and place it in the oven for about 15 minutes until it becomes a glorious brown . Thickly slice said beast and serve with some fragrant rice , nugget potatoes and any other sides you can come up with . SUCCESS! You have mastered the greatest crowd pleaser known to man!

But we don't waste a thing around here , so turn your attention to the stock pot .

After you have reduced the quantity to half , reserve the stock for later and add any remains of the brisket and some spuds or barley and corn and you will have the most delicious bowl of warmth possible - so fantastic , in fact , that you can enjoy it on even the hottest of days and you will be the hero of your family for the current generation .
We can all honour our past by remembering those who have shaped our lives and it is imperative to do so . We need to instill our culinary traditions into this fast-food society lest an imporatant part of history be lost forever.

Have a great day!

p.s. This is the finished beast. I finished it in a pan for out-of-this-world caramelization and used a red wine reduction.



  1. I just cooked one for St. Patrick's -- in a slow cooker for 7 hours and then finished with twenty minutes in the oven. I'll have to try your spices the next time.

  2. Sounds wonderful. Will have to try it soon. One more week till I can eat meat again. I admire your committment to vegetarianism, but my 40 day-trial has been difficult for me. I will, however, make an effort to not eat meat as much as I used to.


Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think