I just posted a lamb recipe for another New year's dinner idea, but if beef is more your thing, read on!
We always eat black eyed peas for New Year's and this year, since we'll be keeping it mellow and I can cook anything I want, I settled on brisket to go with the creamy peas. I perused some recipes from around the interwebs and all of them seem to have the same idea in common: bake it slow and low for hours and hours in some kind of marinade, then devour when it's fork-tender.
A lot of recipes also have liquid smoke in common. I am not a fan of the flavor of liquid smoke (and I'm not even sure what it is), I just know that I didn't want those chemicals on my brisket so I opted for a more natural alternative that I hoped would give the same smoky results: alderwood smoked salt. (Hickory smoked salt would also work.)
I just now stuck it in the oven where it will cook for about 5 hours so I don't have a finished photo yet, but once it comes out of the oven I will update this post.
CITYMAMA'S SLOW-BAKED NEW YEAR'S BRISKET (with inspiration from the internet)
I ordered the brisket from my butcher and it was a nice 5 pound piece with a thin layer of fat over the top. You want that, trust me.
- 1 5 lb piece of brisket
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- alderwood smoked salt (a good handful)
- coarse sea salt (I used my beloved Hawaiian pink salt)
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 tbsps of brown sugar
- 3-4 red chilis (hit up your local Mexican market for serranos or chiles de arbol)
For the marinade. combine all of these ingredients and dump into the roasting pan:
- 1/3 cup of soy sauce
- 1/3 cup of red wine (whatever you have open)
- 1/3 cup of Gorman's Much More Seasoning & Marinade (worth ordering it, it makes THE BEST bloody marys) or Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup of black coffee (Homesick Texan's trick)
Preheat oven to 250º. Unwrap brisket and pat dry. Make a rough paste of the garlic, smoked salt, sea salt, pepper, and brown sugar, by chopping them all together on a cutting board. Chop the chilis separately and set aside. Then shmear the salt rub all over the brisket using about 1/4 of it for the underside of the brisket and the rest for the top. (The top is the fatty side.) The underside will be resting in the marinade so be sure not to use a lot of rub on the underside.
Scatter half the chilis into the marinade and then carefully lay the brisket into the pan, fat side up. Scatter remaining chilis over top of brisket.
Cover the pan tightly with a double layer of foil (or single layer of heavy duty foil) and bake for 5 hours or until fork tender. (Mine was not quite fork tender enough at 5 hours but was perfect at 6.)
Mine is still in the oven so I will check it after about four hours to see where we are. I am cooking this a day ahead. We'll have this tomorrow or on New Year's Day along with our black eyed peas and greens. And there will be plenty of leftovers to freeze.
P.S. I think I'm going vegetarian in 2009. All this holiday meat...oy.
[photos taken with my iPhone. It's how I do things now.]