Monday, November 20, 2006

Beef Brisket Braised in Trappist Beer:

(Made: 19 November 2006)

This is a new favourite that I have been developing in preparation of the annual Christmas dinner I throw with my Friend David. I have based the method on various similar dishes I’ve had in restaurants and traditional recipes from amongst others Raymond Olivier. Essentially, the idea to use beer is very much a modern idea whereas the Cinnamon is very traditionally French.

I serve the brisket with a variety of potato dishes including very fine truffle mash and rough mash with root vegetables mashed in. I also like to serve vegetables such as spinach on the side but the dish becomes very busy that way.

  1. 1kg beef brisket preferably aged cut into individual, i.e. in the right size for a single portion, pieces;
  2. Trappist Beer;
  3. 1 large red onion cut into centimetre thick slices;
  4. 4 large carrots cut into large approximately 3 cm by 1.5 cm pieces basically large enough to survive the braising;
  5. 2 celery stalks cut into 3 cm pieces;
  6. 4 cloves of garlic;
  7. 1 bouqet garnie;
  8. 1 Cinnamon Stick;
  9. 2 – 3 laurel leaves;
  10. Salt and Pepper.

In a large braising pot seal the meat in some oil remove and put aside. Caramelise the vegetables in a bit of olive oil and butter. When done turn off the heat and put the meat on top of the vegetables, season with salt and pepper before covering with the beer. It is important to completely cover with the beer so that there is a centimetre thick cover of beer over the meat. Add in the cinnamon, bouqet garnie and laurel leaves and let marinate for 4 – 5 hours at room temperature.

At least four hours before you intend to serve the brisket put the pot into a preheated oven at 170 degrees Centigrade. Let the meat braise for four hours until fifteen minutes before you want to serve it then take out the meat and separate the vegetables from the remaining sauce. Use the vegetables to prop up the meat on a serving plate. Thicken the sauce in a sauce pan and drizzle around the meat.

If you want to serve the truffle mash then this is the method. After pealing and boiling enough potatoes for the number of people you are serving mash them by forcing through a fine sieve. Once mashed work warm milk and butter into the mash until it is creamy but not runny. Then force back through the sieve one more time before working in truffle flavoured olive oil until you have achieved the desired consistency and flavour.

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