Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Bacony Brisket Bourguignon
The Soundtrack: Brad Paisley radio on Pandora.
On the Stove-top: New Potatoes. Peas and young carrots.
Steaming up the Oven: Brisket Bourguinon.
The Scenario: A while back Hoosband and I made an incredible discovery when we veered off I-595 and ventured into a Hollywood, FL, neighborhood treasure, Penn Dutch Food Center.
This tightly merchandised, family-owned and operated supermarket, in business since 1975, processes the entire half-a-million pounds of meat they receive each week in-house, which translates to beef so affordable my ideals of traceability, sustainability, organics, and superior animal treatment--all things I theoretically strive to consider when contemplating a meat purchase--have no choice but to bow down to the price tag. Judge me if you must.
We left Penn Dutch that day with a 7.5-lb beef brisket and a plan.
Back home, Hoosband flopped that beautiful brisket on the cutting board, gripped his manly, Jacques Pepin-esque cleaver, and expertly and excitedly divvied the meat into fifths. Each fifth was fitted snugly into a quart-sized zip-top bag and stashed in the freezer for one of five future feasts: corned beef and cabbage, pastrami melts on homemade rye, BBQ-brisket tamales, beef (or boeuf, if you wanna get French about it) bourguignon, and beef carnitas.
With the first three dishes down to delicious memories, today we dive into the fourth:
Bacony Brisket Bourguignon
1.5 lbs beef brisket, room temperature, cut into roughly 1.5-inch cubes
2 T flour
Kosher salt, for continuous use
Freshly cracked black pepper, for continuous use
3 slices fatty bacon, roughly chopped or cut into strips (don't be a turkey, use the good stuff)
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 medium-sized carrot, finely diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T tomato paste
1 crushed bay leaf
several sprigs fresh thyme (let's call it 5)
2 whole allspice berries
2 cups red wine (preferably a Burgundy, but any decent pinot noir is a good bet)
2 cups beef stock, unsalted or very low sodium (homemade is even better!)
1 8-oz package frozen (peeled) pearl or cippolini onions, thawed (if using fresh, score, blanch, then peel)
1 T butter
8 oz baby portabella (crimini) mushrooms (or white button mushrooms, if you prefer), sliced
Prepare while stew is in oven, if desired.
8-10 new potatoes (the small, red ones), rinsed, quartered, and boiled in salted water till fork-tender
8 oz young carrots, stems trimmed, parboiled and sauteed in butter till just tender
8-oz bag frozen peas, added to carrots in last few minutes of cooking, sprinkled with salt and pepper
fresh parsley, very finely minced
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sprinkle beef cubes with a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss with flour to lightly coat. Set aside.
4. Shaking off any excess flour, add the beef cubes to the pot and brown on all sides, making sure not to over-crowd the pot. Do this is batches if necessary. Carefully remove beef from the pot, cover and set aside. If there are browned bits on the bottom of the pot, yippee! Browned bits are your friend.
Note: Start with a small serving. The inherent richness of the brisket makes this bourguinon extra filling, meaning more tasty leftovers!!