This slow-cooked braised brisket in red wine is a winner for the cook and the guests!
PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOKING TIME: 3 hrs slow-cooking
IDEAL FOR: crowd-pleaser, family
Good friends, good food, good times
So, what food do you do when some of your oldest pals come and visit for the weekend?
I mean, you don’t want to spend hours tucked away in the kitchen.
And miss out on all the goss and what’s been going on in everyone’s lives.
It’s already been a good couple of years due to the pandemic.
Time shouldn’t be wasted over a hot stove.
But at the same time, they’ve all travelled a long way from different parts of the country to meet up.
So, I can’t just throw down a frozen pizza and some salad!
And, on top of that, they follow my Lou’s Kitchen Corner.
So, there is absolutely no getting away with dishing up something a bit average.
… like I used to when we lived together in East Dulwich.
They were the cooks and very good ones.
I was the (slow learning) student.
So, having established in my own mind that I can’t *&^ this up.
I sat down to figure out the weekend’s menu.
And that’s where I turn to one of my favourite chef’s, Angela Hartnett.
She always saves me.
Her cookbook Cucina is full of great simple Italian recipes.
It’s taught me once again, that it’s all about the quality of your produce.
Not necessarily the quantity or list of ingredients to make an incredibly tasty meal.
So, based on ease, quality, taste this is what I’m dishing up:
- Roast peppers with burrata and nduja served with crusty bread (sharing dish)
- Slow-cooked braised beef (brisket)
The roast peppers is a recipe I discovered ‘From Oven to Table’
But the main dish is Angela Hartnett’s.
Slow-cooked braised brisket in red wine
It’s a great hands-off recipe with melt-in-your-mouth beef.
With deep, rich flavours to keep your guest coming back for more.
Now, you may think this sounds a bit wintery.
But who can resist a dish that has been slowly cooking away in the background for 3 hrs.
Then served with creamy mash (or polenta) to soak up the amazing juices?
No, this dish is for anyone who wants to enjoy good hearty home cooking.
Made with love.
And that’s what my old pals deserve after a long drive/train to South Devon.
After a couple of years of being apart.
Wine and stews
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of slow cooking.
(another great slow-cooked stew to check out is the Tuscan peposo stew)
But I’m even a bigger fan of slow cooking with wine.
This marriage made in heaven requires you to cook slowly.
Think of one of France’s National dishes, Beef Bourguignon.
Or Southern Frances take on it with its more Mediterranean flavours in their Daube de boeuf.
Both these use wine in their stews.
The alcohol, acidity and fruitiness that we enjoy drinking, mellow in a low & slow cook.
It helps break down the tough meat and leaves us with a tender flavoursome dish.
Wine paring for my slow-cooked braised brisket
Suzie (Michael Sutton’s Cellar) always suggests you match your recipe i.e. Italian, with wine from that country/region.
And then drink the wine you use in your cooking.
So don’t skimp with your cooking wine.
But Suzie also notes that you don’t have to break the bank to achieve this.
So, for this weeks dish, we’re cooking a beautiful piece of brisket in red wine (an Angela Hartnett recipe).
And she suggests using a beautiful Barolo (which is out of my league)
Or a primitivo (aka zinfandel) which is what I went for – Primitivo Tacco Barocco Cantina Sampietrana (£13.50).
Because I’m cooking this dish for some dear old friends, I’m pushing the boat out a little more than usual.
Slow-cooked braised brisket in red wine
- 1 kg diced beef brisket (good quaility)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 750 ml red wine (recommend using a primitivo aka zinfandel grape variety)
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 20 baby onions
- salt and pepper to season
- handful of fresh parsley to garnish
- Season the beef first.Then in a large, heavy-based pan (which as a lid), over high heat, add the vegetable oil and when very hot add in your diced brisket to brown.TIP: don't move the beef around too much, let it brown on one side, then turn it. Be patient. You may need to do this in batches.
- Once the meat is browned, add the wine and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and reduce until the wine has almost evaporated (approx 10 mins).Then, add the stock and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for 1.5 hrs.
- After 1.5 hrs, add the carrots and onions and stir together, replace the lid and continue to simmer for another 45 – 60 mins (you may need to add a little water if it starts to look dry)
- After 2 – 3 hrs the beef should be lovely and soft and fall away.Serve with parsley sprinkled over the top and some creamy mash (or polenta).PS. if you do a day in advance and reheat it, the flavours will be even better!