Braised Brisket with Mushrooms

I’ve been craving brisket for weeks now. I keep saying as soon as a weekend with no rain presents itself I’m going to smoke a brisket. While I could do a brisket in the rain, I just didn’t feel like it. A couple of months ago the Cook’s Country magazine came out with a recipe for a braised brisket with mushrooms. This was the weekend.

Like most Cook’s Country recipes it uses about every dish in the kitchen and some of them twice. It’s a dish that takes a long time to prepare; about an hour to get the ingredients prepped and then 4 1/2 hours in the oven followed by an hour of cooling. My copy of the recipe can be found here.

Carla’s brother Glenn just got a job in Alexandria, VA so he’ll be moving in a week. His wife Carolyn will follow in July after her daughter Stella graduates from U of O. We used the occasion to have a little celebration. Carla’s sister Starr brought mashed potatoes; her other sister Linda and my nephew Paul brought salad and asparagus. (It’s my birth week so I didn’t have to eat asparagus!)

My recipe program, Mac Gourmet, has an attribute called “difficulty”. It’s hard to determine what “hard” means in this case. It’s not real exacting, but it takes a lot of time and there are many steps. I think making candy or baking would be much more difficult because the temperature controls are so demanding. If you’ve got some time and willingness to clean dishes this is vey doable.

Start off with ingredients shown below + 1 cup of chicken broth which I was defrosting. I picked up a 5 1/2 pound brisket at New Season’s market yesterday and trimmed it down to about 1/4″ fat on the fat side. Then poked a lot of holes in it with a fork,  seasoned with salt and pepper and cut it in half

A beautiful brisket and the supporting cast

My buddy John has a niece and nephew-in-law who own The Portland Bottle Shop in Sellwood. After our burger project yesterday we dropped in. I told Travis I needed a “dry red wine” for my recipe. Most all the wine I’ve ever had has been wet and I needed some guidance. I learned that “dry”is the opposite of “sweet”. In dry wines, the fermenting eats up more of the sugars. The wine was very full bodied.
We went there a few weeks ago for a tasting and picked up a case of wines which we are enjoying. It’s a great place to head if you are shopping for wine.

I brown a lot of chicken before braising, the brisket was a whole different task. I should have gotten a picture of the fat side which is busy cooking away down there.

Sear the brisket for about 7 minutes on each side. Look at the greas splatter

1/2 of the brisket is browned; the other is in the skillet

The ingredients in approximate order of addition
Next we brown the quartered mushrooms for about 8 minutes until the moisture cooks out and they get nice golden brown

Mushrooms cooking in 1 Tablespoon of the brisket fat
Next, we add the chopped onion and a bit of brown sugar; cook for another 8 or so minutes

 I went back and forth on which skillet to use. I have a humongous one that I considered using. It was going to be a close fit. Can’t switch once we’ve started because we want that luscious fond in the bottom of the pan. We had chicken stock a cup of dry wine and 1/2 cup of the mushroom stock we made by steaming some dried porcini mushrooms in some water.

The wet ingredients go on to make the sauce. It’s going to get messier before it gets cleaner
Again, I didn’t know which pan to use for the braise. I think it’s best to use the smallest pan you can. Compare with the picture above and you’ll see that I moved to a smaller 13 x 9″ pyrex pan.

Mushroom sauce over the brisket, then into a 300* oven for 4 1/2 hours.

 Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and in a few hours you get this. Don’t worry about all that fat, we’ll separate it out and keep a nice silky sauce.

Out of the oven

 Strain the sauce, separate the fat, and put the mushrooms in a separate bowl. Like I said, Cook’s Country recipes have a lot of steps. Put things together, cook, separate, recombine, serve.

Glenn, the guest of honor arrived. 
Carla’s brother Glenn.
I’m always tickled with Linda and Paul come over; they are such fans of my cooking. You can see the other things people brought. The mashed potatoes are coming in from the kitchen. 

Linda and Paul

Dinner is served

Delicious.

We had a great time; went through about 3 bottles of wine!

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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