Alright, faithful readers. I’m back with a not-so-weekly recipe, but it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
I was a bit shocked when I realized how much time had passed since my last recipe post, but then I remembered: for the last four months, I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free and dairy-free diets in the (ultimately futile) hope they would minimize or eliminate my migraines. No such luck, but through that process I discovered how many of my Maine cookbook recipes heavily feature dairy (because let’s be honest, it’s delicious). I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that aside from difficulty at restaurants, eliminating gluten and dairy really wasn’t that hard, and I didn’t miss it that much. Now that I’m back to an unrestricted diet, it’s time to get back to regular recipe shares.
Mom’s Best Brisket comes from my all-time favorite Maine cookbook, Recipes from the Maine Kitchen. It fits my low-maintenance cooking and entertaining requirements: brief ingredient list, relatively straightforward, and delicious results. I made this on Saturday while we were entertaining a few friends and watching college football (Go Tigers!), and it was a hit. For the best flavor, you should really make it the day before…. but I ran out of time.
Recipe serves 10 (also halves well)
- 6 lb. single brisket or 2 smaller cuts
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Oil or spray for browning meat
Brown the brisket on all sides in a heavy skillet or large Dutch oven. Remove brisket and put on a platter, then brown the onions and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and place the brisket back in the pot.
You can either cook the brisket on the stove top over a low flame for 2 to 3 hours, covered, or put it in the oven, covered, at 325 degrees for the same amount of time.
At 2 hours, check the meat – if it is tender but not falling apart, remove the brisket and place on a large cutting board. Slice the meat across the grain in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices, return to the pot, cover and continue cooking for a half hour to an hour. This step is messy but is worth it! The flavors really seep into the meat this way.
I served the brisket with a salad and garlic couscous, but mashed potatoes would also be an excellent side.