Brisket of Beef with Portabella Mushroom and Dried Cherry Sauce

On a chilly winter’s afternoon I can think of nothing more wonderful than the enticing aroma of a brisket slowly braising in the oven to be plattered and presented for a satisfying meal at the end of the day.  Brisket is a versatile and inexpensive boneless cut of meat that can be cooked in many ways.  Since it is one of the least tender cuts of beef, slow cooking is extremely important to achieve a dish that is both flavorful and tender.  A popular method in the Southern United States is to first rub it with a spice rub or place in it a marinade, followed then by a slow and indirect cooking process over charcoal or wood, giving the meat the flavors that come from smoking.  The brisket is basted frequently during the cooking process.  Most of the tenderness, however, comes from the fat cap, or deckel, that is often left attached to the brisket.  During cooking the brisket is nearly always placed with the fat on top so that as it slowly dissolves down into the meat the resulting dish is juicy and tender.

A brisket of beef is probably best known by many for the role it plays on St. Patrick’s Day as corned beef, served with cabbage, boiled potatoes and carrots.  Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine, often with spices.  The term corned does not come from the grain we know as corn but rather from the English term corn, meaning any small particle, specifically here the coarse-grained salt used during the curing process for this cut of meat.

In our kitchen we first rub the brisket with our own all-purpose meat rub, dredge it in flour, brown it well on both sides, then braise it for hours in a flavorful liquid of hearty red wine, rich beef stock, cranberry juice concentrate and a myriad of herbs and seasonings, all ultimately topped off with the incorporated flavors of earthy portabella mushrooms and tangy dried cherries.  Served over pasta or alongside creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes this is a meal you will not soon forget.  Furthermore, it reheats beautifully and is as good the second… or third… day as it was the first!

– All-Purpose Meat Rub –

Mix together:

  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 3 T salt
  • 1 1/4 C coarse black pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 5 T garlic powder
  • 5 T onion powder
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp granulated beef bouillon and seasoning (Herb Ox)
  • 3 T sugar

Store in a tightly covered jar.

Brisket of Beef with Portabella Mushroom and Dried Cherry Sauce

 

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large flat pan place:

  • a 4 1/2 – 5 lb beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

Season with:

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Then dredge in flour, coating well:

Or, first season with All-Purpose Meat Rub then dredge in flour:

Whisk together well and set aside:

  • 1 750 ml bottle dry red wine
  • 1 C beef stock
  • 2 C water
  • 2 tsp granulated beef bouillon and seasoning (Herb Ox)
  • 1/2 C frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence

In a large rondo or heavy skillet large enough to accomodate the brisket over moderately high heat add:

  • 4 – 5 T extra virgin olive oil

When the oil begins to shimmer add the seasoned brisket, fat side down:

When well-browned, turn and brown the lean side:

Transfer the browned brisket to a platter or large plate on the side.  To the pan add:

  • 2 C chopped shallots
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

Brown well!

To the pan add:

  • the whisked seasoned liquids

Deglaze the pan, slightly reducing the liquids.  Transfer the browned brisket to a roasting pan, fat side up for self-basting:

Pour the hot liquid over the brisket:

Cover the pan tightly with foil:

Place in the preheated oven and braise for 2 hours.  When cooked, transfer the brisket to a platter or cutting board, allowing it to rest tented with foil for 1 hour.  Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  To the juices in the roasting pan add:

  • 1 lb medium portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 C dried cherries ( 1 6-oz package)

Stir to combine.  Do not return the pan to the oven but allow the cherries to plump in the hot liquid during the one hour’s resting time.  Slice the brisket thinly and arrange, slices overlapping, in the roasting pan.  Spoon some of the portabellas and cherries over the meat:

 

Again, cover the pan with foil and return it to the oven:

Continue braising until the portabella mushrooms are tender and the brisket is heated through, 30 – 40 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a warmed serving platter and surround and garnish with the rich, sumptuous sauce.  This spectacular dish will generously serve eight… Bon Appetit!

Copyright 2010 Via Aurea Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved

 

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Tags: ,

Categories: Beef, Rubs

Author:Steve Meyer & Dayton Azevedo

Food and fine cooking have been our passion for many years, fueled by the year-around abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats, as well as aromatic spices and herbs readily available to us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, making adventuresome, creative and delicious 5-star cooking a reality in our kitchen. Our aim is to make it yours as well by utilizing our step by step instructions and serial photographs. Bon Appetit from our kitchen to yours...!

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2 Comments on “Brisket of Beef with Portabella Mushroom and Dried Cherry Sauce”

  1. France
    January 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM #

    Hello, incredible chefs… this brisket recipe sounds perfect and a unique take on a sometimes boring dish. Can’t wait to try it out very soon.

  2. Molly
    February 2, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

    This is similiar to the way I make brisket, minus the dried cherries & cranberry juice concentrate. I’ll have to give it a try with the fruit. I like making this to serve for a crowd because it’s easy to prep the day before and then just warm up when company arrives.. It’s one of those meals that seems to taste even better the 2nd day!

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