recipe goodness :: braised grass-fed beef brisket and polenta

Braised Grass-fed Brisket and Polenta

It’s Superbowl weekend and you’re looking for an alternative to just another bowl of chili? Why not delight your pigskin party pals with a warm, rich bowl of polenta and braised brisket. The best thing about this dish is you can throw it all in a pot and let it cook for a few hours {or make the day before!}, while you enjoy the TV ads and a few brews. Of course, this dish is perfect for any cold winter night and doesn’t have to be saved for the big game — the bonus is it gets better with age, so leftovers are supreme.

Braised Brisket

Braised Grass-Fed Beef Brisket and Polenta

Serves 8-10 | Preheat Oven 350º

5-6 pounds grass fed brisket {I love Grazin’ Acres}
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine
14 ounces fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
water
polenta
parmesan for grating

Braised Brisket Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.
  2. Cut round piece of parchment with a quarter-sized hole in the middle to fit inside the pot on top of your ingredients before putting into the oven. This will prevent the sauce from cooking down too much.
  3. Season brisket well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, heavy pot (I used a 7.5-qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat until shimmering. Brown brisket for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from pot {using grass-fed beef, which is leaner may not leave much excess fat}, then sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  4. Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and soaking liquid (minus the last 1/4 inch to keep sediment out of your dish), plus herbs.
  5. Add brisket to pot, fat side up and fill with water until brisket is nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover with the round parchment paper and tight fitting lid and braise in oven for at least 3 hours or until brisket is fall-apart tender.
  6. Remove brisket from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While brisket is cooling, skim fat off surface and then purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When brisket has cooled down, discard large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot.
  7. Brisket can either be served immediately or refrigerated overnight. The next day, remove additional fat from the surface before reheating.
  8. When serving, cook polenta per package instructions.
  9. Add polenta to serving dish, topped with braised brisket and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Adapted from Minimally Invasive for food52.com

And a Side Of…:
Red Chili-Lime Cornbread Muffins
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}

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