The Recipes

Brisket Stew

Oh, how I love the Fall and the cravings for slow-cooked meat and stews.  (Get ready D Lyons.  Leftovers are coming your way.)  A meat that is tense and unpalatable otherwise, braised and forced into submission?  Sounds like my kind of... meat.

My Kind of Stew

Ingredients:

- 1 2lb. brisket (you are feeding an army here... leftovers for you and all of your coworkers)
- 1/2 bottle of red wine; I used a Bordeaux
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 c. green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 4-5 small potatoes, red or white, diced
- 1/2 c. kalamata olives, halved
- 4 c. beef stock
- 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 of rosemary; tie together in a bundle
- 2-3 bay leaves
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil
Marinade the brisket in 1/2 bottle of good red wine for an hour or two in the fridge.  Remove the meat from the marinade, but reserve the wine.  Pat the meat try, and season it with salt and pepper.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 2 T. of olive oil.  When it is almost smoking, add the brisket.  Sear each side for approximately 3 minutes, or until you have a brown crust.  Once seared on each side, remove the meat.  To the pot, add the onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, and green beans.  Allow the vegetables to soften.  Hint:  I had the onions and celery ready to go, then peeled and added the carrots and others veggies in turn.  That way, the celery and onions fully soften as the other veggies are dropped.  Add the garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant. 

Pour in the reserved wine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add the can of tomatoes and stir again, then add the stock, herb bundle* and bay leaves.  Return the meat to the pot, and simmer, covered for 3-3 1/2 hours.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand;  a combination of parsley and thyme would be great; I opted for a bit of fresh oregano that I needed to use and some freshly chopped scallions.  Combine the herbs with some lemon zest to really wake up the stew.  That's so vital in any slow-cooked meat dish: adding a fresh ingredient at the end to liven it up!  Bring on the Fall!


* If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, use dried herbs tied up in a cheesecloth and hang over the side of the pot, using the lid to secure the ties and ensure easy removal.