This was a marvelous dish of Sweet and Sour Brisket. I swear. The picture does not do it justice. It was savory, yet succulently sweet and so tender.
Unfortunately, my camera was out of batteries the night that I made this, so I photographed some leftovers that I ate the next night. Bad move.
But, in my defense, even the photo in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for the recipe that I adapted is not by any stretch one of her best. But at least Perelman’s picture looks appetizing.
But enough on my failures as a photographer. It’s clear that I won’t be uploading this photo to a variety of food picture websites.
I had to blog about this brisket nonetheless to, at a minimum, document this culinary adventure.
Some background: I have very recently become OBSESSED with brisket. This is due, in large part, to the opening of Bodega Taco Bar in Darien that serves the best brisket soft tacos EVER. Keep in mind that I am not someone who has had a great deal of exposure to brisket in my life for whatever reason. It’s not something I would ever order in a restaurant if given the choice. It is, however, something my husband orders frequently when given the choice and that I tasted in taco form. It was life CHANGING.
Admittedly, it will be 2015 before I get to the point where I can remotely re-engineer a recipe like the one that they have composed at Bodega. Until then, I will be exploring a variety of recipes that taste nothing like those tacos, but are certainly pleasing to the taste buds.
My first foray into the brisket backwoods was a few weeks ago. I slowcooked it in jalapeno, cumin, cayenne with a variety of other ingredients. It was good, but in that moment, I was missing my charger for my camera (do you see a common theme here?). My failure to document means I have forgotten exactly what I did.
This post documents my second attempt at brisket. The family was quite pleased with the result. I adapted the original recipe by Perelman by skipping the onion powder, reducing the amount of tomato paste (because I ran out), cooking a little less meat, using sea salt instead of kosher salt, and adding a can of diced tomatoes to compensate for the tomato paste and to ensure that the full slab of beef was bathed in a red bath for a few hours and not peeking out with the potential for drying out.
I am no closer to learning how they make the brisket tacos at Bodega, but I certainly enjoyed this dish. And there’s a good photo me in yet
Sweet and Sour Brisket
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 3 hours 20 mins
Total time: 3 hours 30 mins
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman
- 3 lbs brisket
- 1½ tsp of sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1½ tbsp tomato paste
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ red chili flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Season meat generously with sea salt and pepper.
- Whisk remaining ingredients together in bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the meat in a dutch oven, pour sauce over it, and cover dish.
- Bake for 3 hours. [Alternatively, place in the slow cooker for 10 hours on low.]
- Let brisket rest, preferably overnight in refrigerator in the same container.
- Slice brisket in ⅛ inch slices. Return to dutch oven and sauce and cook at 300 for 15-20 minutes until edges are bubbling. Serve immediately.
Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer. She blogs about food and entertaining at weekendtable.com