So here we are, self-isolating in this time of the Coronavirus and comforting ourselves with good books, long naps and video chats with friends and family who live far away.
Now, more than ever, we need to choose home-made food over high-processed, nutrient-poor foods like instant ramen and frozen dinners. I see store shelves cleared of high sodium foods—nasty things that you shouldn’t be eating in “normal” times, so why are people stocking up on them now when nutrition is so important?
Made-from-scratch foods are cheaper in the long run, are great for getting others involved (now’s a wonderful time to get those kids in the kitchen) and taste way better than food loaded with preservatives, sodium and food colouring. You can never go wrong with home-cooked food. Even if you screw it up, you learn what to do better next time.
Braised brisket is a super easy dish that yields huge results. I’ve made lots of roasts in my day, but for some reason, the brisket I made last night was the best roast I’ve ever made. The reason is simple: it was the quality of beef and a fuss-free recipe. The beef was Piedmontese, a grass-fed Italian breed raised by Peony Farms in central Alberta and processed nearby by Messinger Meats.
You can find it at the Italian Centre Shops in Edmonton and Calgary.
I just received word yesterday that the ICS is delivering groceries in Edmonton (and surrounding area), so give them a call. You can have that brisket delivered right to your doorstep.
The recipe (below) is courtesy of H-E-B, an American grocery store chain that started in 1905 by Florence Butt who opened a store to support her three children and an ailing husband. As of 2020, there are now 350 stores throughout Texas and Mexico. They have a fascinating history and are often in Glassdoor’s top 10 companies (of over 1,000 employees) to work for in the USA. Texans know good beef, and they definitely know how to cook a brisket. The great thing about this recipe is that a 3 lb roast will take just under four hours from start to finish but most of that time is for the meat to cook and rest. After you season and sear it, you can sit back and watch a movie or lose yourself surfing the ‘net looking for photos of kittens and puppies. (Highly recommended)
The recipe has three steps: season, sear and simmer. That’s it. I had no idea I’d be doing a blogpost, so I didn’t take pictures of the searing part, but it’s as easy as it sounds—in a dutch oven (like a Le Creuset), add oil, heat to just above medium and sear meat on all four sides. Boom.
At 3 lbs, this brisket was pretty small but still, I could’ve fed four people with that. I used home-made beef stock for the liquid in the oven braising method (below) so all in all, it took 15 minutes to season and sear, 3.5 hours to cook and 15 minutes to rest. I served it with creamy dill potatoes.
Okay, off you go: get cooking!