Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brisket with Pea Puree

First things first- you have to make this. The effort is so minimal and the results are far too fantastic.. Everyone will sing your praises and tell you how wonderful this meal was- your kitchen ego will be brushed as you bask in glorious compliments!

This is super duper easy. Any kitchen novice can master this..I promise.

The pea puree is so beautifully vibrant and is the perfect backdrop to the tender slow-cooked brisket..  each bite is like a domino effect of heightening flavours- the sweet carrot, followed by the caramelised onions, falls into the flavourful soft puree and then you get hit with tender beef that's been bathing in the most delicious gravy! YUM!

1 brisket (I use mini brisket- it's about 1.5 pounds, so double the quantity of this marinade if you're using a big piece)
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1teaspoon bottled horseraddish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon for searing
1 garlic clove pounded or grated to a paste
3 carrots (5 if making a large brisket), cut in half lengthwise
1 large onion (two if making a large brisket) cut in thick slices
1 cup white wine or veal stock
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon butter

Salt and pepper your brisket and set aside. Mix the mustards, horseraddish, olive oil and garlic to make a paste. Rub it all over the beef. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large dutch oven or pan, heat the teaspoon of olive oil and butter. Brown the beef on both sides and reserve. Add the onions and stir up all the bits. Deglaze the pan with the wine or veal stock bring to a simmer and add the carrots and beef with all its juices from the resting plate. If using a dutch oven place a large sheet of tinfoil on top of the brisket so it stays well insulated. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours or until very tender. Larger pieces will need to cook for 3+ hours. After 30 minutes, remove the carrots and half of the onions. You don't want the carrots to turn to mush. Reserve the carrots for serving.

When the brisket is tender, remove from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. There should be a lovely gravy from the soft onions and juices. If it's dried out or you need more, add another cup of wine or veal stock and simmer until it is the right consistency. It won't be thick, just a deep brown jus.

Place the reserved carrots and onions on a baking tray and broil on high just until the carrot and onions brown a little.

Serve with Pea Puree.

Pea Puree Ingredients (for two):
1 large clove garlic
2 cups frozen
1 cup reserved cooking liquid (you'll probably only need 1/4 cup but always save more!)
1/2 tablespoon butter

Bring water to a boil and salt it as you would pasta water. Add the clove of garlic and peas. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until it's thoroughly cooked and heated all the way through.
Strain the peas and reserve the cooking liquid. Put all the peas and the clove of garlic in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid at a time and pulse until smooth or has some chunks... I like mine with a bit more texture. If it seems to thick add more cooking liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold in butter while hot.

I won't say my husband licked the plate clean, but I'll let the evidence speak for itself....

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