I can’t get over how orange this blog is right now, browsing through these posts I realized that it seems like I have only been eating root vegetables and squash. Factor in the orange background and I am getting worried that I am victim to some bizarre color hypnosis. Maybe it’s too orange, but I can’t help it, orange foods just taste so good. Also, orange is such a happy color that each time my blog pops up all it just adds a flash of brightness to my day. When I was contemplating all this orange business I realized that recently Stefi told me I looked tan even though I have been a prisoner of the halogen lighting in the library. Suddenly it hit me, is it actually possible that the myth of beta-carotene giving skin an orange glow is actually true? If so, you can expect to be seeing a LOT more orange food around here.
I was really excited about this brisket because it was my first time making any slow-cooked or braised meat. I definitely liked it after tasting it, but I deemed it a success when Stefi said it reminded her of Friday night dinners at home. That was the best compliment I could have asked for, successfully duplicating someone’s favorite comfort foods is an honor.
Brisket with Farro and Root Vegetables
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 first cut of beef brisket (5 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
3 large onions, halved and thinly sliced + 1 chopped onion (keep separate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine
4 1/2 c. homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
2 fresh or dried bay leaves, plus more fresh for garnish if desired
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut in 1/4" rounds
4 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4" rounds
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4" half moons
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 c. farro
1 c. water
For the Brisket:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper. Place a roasting pan across 2 burners on medium-high. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in pan. Add brisket; sear until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and minced garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 4 minutes. (Add more oil to pan if needed.) Stir in tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in wine, and cook, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.
3. Add stock and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add the brisket to the pan, and cover with foil. Transfer to oven, and roast until meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Flip meat over. Cover, and roast for 30 minutes more.
4. Add vegetables to brisket, cover, and roast until meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer vegetables to a platter and meat to a cutting board, reserving pan sauce. Tent meat with foil; let rest.
5. Heat the pan sauce in a saucepan until slightly reduced.
6. Thinly slice brisket against the grain. Arrange slices on a platter with the vegetables. Season with pepper, and drizzle with some sauce. Serve immediately with remaining sauce.
For the Farro:
1) While the brisket is in it's last hour of cooking, prepare the farro.
2) Heat up a glug of olive oil a medium sized pot and add the onion, cook until soft. Add in the farro, 2 ladles of cooking liquid from the brisket, and a cup of water.
3) Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium low. Cook covered for 10 minutes, uncover and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the farro is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Use this as a bed for the brisket and vegetables.
• I dont have a roasting pan, so I seared the meat in my largest pot and then cooked it in a 9x13" glass dish (hence the overflow). This worked just as well.
• Play around with the vegetables based on your preferences, anything goes.