I've never tried a brisket before...I'd always heard how briskets can be very tough. But, I found a great recipe for Red-Wine-Braised Beef Brisket and I gave it a try. First, though, hubby posed a question - "What's the difference between a brisket and corned beef?" Hmm, good question! So I did my research. It turns out that they both are a brisket cut, but corned beef has been salted and cured in a brine (preserved). Now, let's take that a step further and look at pastrami! Pastrami is also a brisket cut, but pastrami is usually cured with a dry rub and smoked after curing! Doesn't that sound tasty - especially with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner?
Now, the recipe was kind of involved, it called for juniper berries and white peppercorns, which of course, called for a trip to Whole Foods (the home of those wonderful sunchokes)! The brisket was marinated overnight (or up to 2 days) in red wine vinegar and red wine, juniper berries (I actually thought these were poisonous), white peppercorns, carrots, celery, garlic and an onion. After marinating, we browned the brisket in a cast-iron casserole (isn't it a beautiful red color), put in diced onions, chicken broth, thyme and a bay leaf and raisins.
We slowly cooked it in the oven for 3 hours at 275. What came out was the most tender, flavorful meat I have ever tasted! Delicious! I give credit to Food & Wine Magazine for this fabulous recipe! Yum!!
We served it with a side of roasted shiitake and button mushrooms and sunchokes.