The first time I cooked brisket it was a disaster. It is not a commonly eaten cut of meat in South Africa, so I never really know how to cook it. When Doug and I were travelling around the USA we decided to treat ourselves to a good meal on day. We splashed out and when to Whole Foods and saw that brisket was the cheapest cut. That night we roasted the brisket in the oven.
Disaster! It honestly was the toughest thing I had ever tried to eat. We chewed and chewed and chewed and eventually we just threw the brisket away. Only afterwards did I discover you had to slowly cook or smoke brisket for hours for it to be edible. A few days after this incident we stopped in Lockhart, Texas for barbecue (Smitty’s Barbecue – the best EVER) and had smoked brisket which literally blew my mind it was so good. Since then I have wanted to attempt brisket again but never got around to it, until last weekend.
This time I slowly braised the brisket in red wine and stock and although I got worried about half way through that it was going to be tough again, it became soft and tender. It really is such an underrated cut of meat and so cheap. I bought 1, 7kg for R129! I served this brisket with soft and fluffy mashed potato, streamed tender stem broccoli and cumin carrots (post coming soon!).
Any leftover brisket is amazing the next day. I pulled it all apart and mixed it up with the remaining sauce and had it on a roll with thinly sliced pickles and red onion. Perfect Saturday lunch by the pool.
Red Wine Braised Brisket
Adapted from The Next Element by Andy Allen
- 1,7 kg brisket, cut into 6-8 pieces
- 1.5 cups red wine
- 1 litre beef stock
- 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
- 4 springs thyme, leaves removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped with leaves
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 150 C
- Place a large oven proof pot on medium heat with a splash of olive oil
- Toss the brisket pieces in flour, season then brown in the pot
- Once browned, removed from the pot and add the vegetables with a bit more olive oil if needed
- Cooked for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent
- Add the brisket with the red wine and deglaze the pan
- Cook until the red wine has reduced by half then add the stock and herbs
- Bring up to a simmer then turn off the heat and season
- Cover the top of the tightly with tin foil (shiny side in) and place in the oven for 4-5 hours or until the brisket is soft and almost falling apart
- Serve with mash potato, broccoli and cumin carrots