I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not Pickled Brisket

While I was getting my kitchen back to it’s original state after Passover, I decided to do a major overhaul and go through every cabinet (I have lots!).  I threw stuff out, consolidated serving dishes and just made a lot more room for everything.  I also went through my spices.  I have a spice “rack” hanging along my wall and then a huge stash of extra bulk and additional spices that I don’t have room for.  I filled my spice jars and got rid of a lot of unnecessary containers which felt great and while I was in spice land, I found some picking spices that I had never used.  I decided to make Danny a Pickled Brisket for his birthday using a recipe I had seen in Panache.  This recipe, I had remembered, said it tasted like real Montreal Smoked Meat, the kind that Danny grew up with and still has dreams about.  This is what I wanted to make him for his birthday, I had even bought rye bread to go with it.  So, I found the recipe, read it through and (I thought) it called for a brisket, honey and brown sugar.  I went to Hungarian the next day – with only 15 minutes to shop and run back to get Leo from Speech – and was able to get some good advice from one of the butchers that this Top Rib Roast would give me the same results at $7.99/lb as the first cut brisket at $12.99/lb.  Still, I walked out of there with $38 worth of meat and had never touched a (raw) brisket in my life.   I couldn’t wait to get the meat in the oven on Friday, but tried to time it right so it would be done before Shabbat and I would still have the oven free for more important things like cookies, etc.  Around 1:30pm on Friday, I took out the meat and found a perfect roasting pan for it.  The recipe called for roasting it 3 hours at 325F and then letting it sit overnight and slicing it the next day.  Here is where the could be downfall begins…

I sprinkled the brown sugar on the meat and then drizzled it with the honey.  What I thought was going to be a nice rub turned out to glob up like a big wad of goop and become totally unmanageable.  Lucky for me, I had such trouble with it on the one side, I flipped it over to get to the back.  When I flipped it, I saw that the meat was tucked under and was actually a very thin long piece of meat, a size for which I did *not* have a roasting pan.  I did have a disposable cookie sheet  with a bit of a ridge to it, so I plopped it in there and tried to rub it down some more.  I thought it was a little weird that it didn’t call for any salt or pepper so I looked at the recipe again.  I guess 10th time is the charm because I *finally* saw that  it called for a PICKLED brisket, not a plain jane, straight from the butcher piece of meat.  Oh gosh.  I had to pick up Amelia at  2:30pm so I started freaking out, but just a little.  I mean, it’s a huge piece of meat.  It was almost $40 (I could get a massage for that!) and I had promised Danny some smoked meat for his birthday.  I did some quick searches, called my mom, and came to the conclusion that picking this meat was not in my future, and that was just going to have to be ok.  Knowing that I had to get this thing in the oven if I was ever going to get those birthday cookies in, I started sprinkling, dousing, and rubbing that meat with whatever I thought would impart a some flavor.  A week later, I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I am sure I used paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, minced garlic, onions and soy sauce, in addition to the honey and brown sugar it already had on it.  I threw it, ever so gently, into the oven and prayed harder than ever before.  After 2 1/2 hours, I called my mom and she gave me permission to peek and told me to take off the foil for a while.  It looked good, it smelled good and it wasn’t completely ruined.  I put it in the fridge and we had it for dinner the next day…and lunch the following day and I have a whole bag of small packets of it in the freezer for many (many!!) other days.  Considering pastrami is $12.99/lb and this was just as good as that (with a little more kick next time), I would say I did pretty good.  Danny, one day you will get your smoked meat – just find me a pickled brisket!

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