The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

NFL Kickoff Menu: Beef brisket returns to glory

with 2 comments

What an awesome weekend. It was so awesome, I needed a good day or so to recover. Saturday had quality college football games all day long, the highlight of which was James Madison taking out Virginia Tech. That sick sound you may hear in the distance is the squealing of Boise State fans whining over losing their only quality non-conference win of the entire season. I friggin’ hate Boise State. I have zero respect for any program that schedules the softest schedule possible while playing in the softest conference in the land – and then claiming they deserve a spot in the BCS every year.

Granted, they’ve done well with what they have but there’s no way they’re on par with an SEC, Big 10, Pac 10, Big 12 or any other program with any sack at all. But enough about blue astroturf wannabees. This weekend was glorious because of three of the most beautiful letters ever strung together: NFL.

The opening weekend of pro football is always a special time for me. Last year I went and spent it with a friend in Chicago and he wanted to start making that an annual tradition. Unfortunately, work schedules got in the way this year so I was stuck at home. But what would make the best Sunday of the year even more delicious? Easy. Sweet and sour brisket.

This was our very first go-to dish that we used to try and impress good friends or out of town visitors. Lately, it’s fallen to the wayside in favor of the BBQ pork butt or carnitas. But sometimes it’s best to go back where you started. I also found a little tweak to the recipe that turns the cooking liquid into more of a sauce rather than a gooey, sticky mess.

I got myself a 3.75-pound brisket, trimmed away a bit of the fat – though I’ve learned not to trim it all away – and then seasoned both sides with a generous amount of salt, pepper and three cloves of minced garlic. Then I heated some vegetable oil in Lou Gehrig, my workhorse of a dutch oven, and browned the brisket to a nice, brown headstart. Previously I would add two sliced onions while doing this but this time, I only used one. Usually I’m all about adding way more onions than called for but something told me to hold back a little here.

I browned the brisket on both sides, removed it and then continued cooking the onions until they began to brown.

Once the onions looked right, I added half a cup of red wine and half a cup of beef broth. There was a lot of stuff stuck to the bottom of Lou Gehrig and the liquid sucked all that awesomeness right back in. After a minute or so, I then added a bottle of chili sauce, half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of cider vinegar. I kept cooking and stirring all that until it combined, then returned the brisket to the pan and used a spoon to cover it with the sauce and onions.

I put the cover on and then put it all into a 325 degree oven for two and a half hours. Afterwards, Lou Gehring revealed that the effort was greatly rewarded.

Cutting back to one onion really let the cooking liquid stay more of a liquid. It was still thick and delicious but it also resembled something more of a sauce. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender. Everything could not have come out better.

Now with the sauce being more of a sauce, it can be spooned over the meat and is thick enough to cover it yet still runny enough to settle into every nook and cranny of meaty goodness.

Couple all this with a NY Giants win and the Sunday couldn’t have gone any better. Actually, I made some serious fantasy football fuckups, so I could have been a little smarter there. But otherwise, it was the kind of NFL opening Sunday that happily keeps me happily planted at home all day and night.

Written by the bee dub

September 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

Posted in Hermit Grub

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2 Responses

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  1. Great blog on the NFL . I love coming here and interacting with others. Sports is just what the doctor ordered. Keep up the great blog. Looks delicious by the way!

    Sports Zone Report

    September 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

  2. Saucy.


    September 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

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