Although I should be posting a recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers, I thought you might be feeling the same way we feel in this house by now. Anything but!
In spite of the fact that Madame Mere's apartment IS FINISHED, I still spend my days waiting for FEDEX, UPS, or some other delivery service delivering merchandise she has ordered through the various catalogues
A corner of the great room where she sits in my daughter's big chair is now her designated office. Mail, new issues of Hola, Veranda and House and Garden, with dog eared pages of ideas for the future decor of her rooms, sit in neat stacks on a tv table. Then there are the catalogues, including Ballards, which she insists on pronouncing "Ballarde" in spite of my corrections, to no avail. At the bottom of the pile are her insurance statements and claims, her bills and checkbooks. The world stops for her when her favorite telenovela, India, is rerun on Telemundo from 12 to 2 while she has lunch and her lady in waiting hems her curtains. We should all be so lucky.
She has now roped me into watching this popular soap opera but I do so, upstairs in my study, while I check my emails, work on the blog and get dressed. Three o'clock is the magic hour when I get in the car and go, anywhere, to see what real people do with their lives. Sometimes I take her with me to shop for her things; others I just wander, aimlessly.
Today we are waiting for her rug from "Ballarde" which is to be delivered between 11:30 and 3:30, another wasted day. She has already announced we are going to get our nails done after that. but we don't. The rug arrived, we both hated it and I spent the rest of the afternoon arranging to have it picked up and ordering a new one.
I have been using the idle hours to make something that needs to be in the oven for a long time and these days are perfect for that. I can't stand to waste time and braising a piece of meat for three hours is my idea of justifying the time. This oven braised beef brisket was posted on My Kitchen By The Lake blog a long time ago and I have made it a couple of times to rave reviews from the family. I think it is time it appears on Lindaraxa.
Brisket is a large flat cut that comes from the chest of a steer, just below the chuck. Its a tough fatty piece that when cured in a brine is called corned beef. Because it is impossible to overcook, brisket is a favorite of home cooks, particularly for Sunday family dinners.
What is known as the first cut, thin cut or flat cut is leaner than the less expensive second cut aka the point cut. This is what is preferred for this recipe because its more flavorful, and succulent.
You don't need to be a great cook to make this, just lots of time on your hands or a Madame Mere in your life. Mashed potatoes and my aunt's Caramelized Baked Apples will make you look like a real Betty Crocker.
Barbecued Oven Braised Brisket
1.4 lbs beef brisket, preferably second cut
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
2 TB vegetable oil
1 large onion halved lengthwise and thinly sliced.
1 cup beef stock
1 cut tomato sauce or tomato juice
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Pat brisket dry and rub salt and pepper all over it.
In a hot skillet add brisket and brown on each side.
Place brisket in 13 in x 9 in baking dish.
Add onion to skillet and stir frequently until browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add beef stock, bring to a boil and deglace pan scraping bits for 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Pour sauce over brisket ,cover with sheet of parchment paper and cover tightly with foil. Braise in the oven , turning meat once, until fork tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Transfer to a cutting board, let rest for 20 minutes and slice across the grain. Spoon sauce over it before serving.
The brisket is best if made the day before and up to 4 days before. Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.