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Posts Tagged ‘mint’

I’m going to admit to y’all that I did not know you did anything with a brisket besides smoke it until I moved to Austin in 1999. I also didn’t know you could buy one that weighed less than 7 lbs. Where I grew up, brisket = bbq, and that was that.

It took me a long time to come around, but I started coming across recipes for braised or roasted brisket more and more, and finally, this weekend, I bit the bullet and tried it. And you know what? It was still tender and juicy and delicious, albeit with an unusual herb rub giving it quite a different flavor than the smoked brisket I’m used to. I’m recommending a few changes from the original recipe, such as cooking it directly in the roasting pan instead of on a rack (I think it’ll be even juicier this way) and throwing in some mushrooms and carrots that can cook in the juices, like a pot roast. Also, I’m adding crockpot directions for weeknight cooking (and for Hilary, who doesn’t turn on the oven if it’s more than 45 degrees out).

Don’t be afraid of the mint — it’s very subtle. I love the generous amount of herbs used here, because a) they are tasty, and b) I often have a hard time using up all the herbs we get before they go bad, and this is a good way to do so.

Braised Brisket with Parsley, Mint, and Thyme (from Whole Foods)

1 (4-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic
1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced carrots

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a roasting pan with cooking spray. Season brisket all over with salt and pepper and then place in the roasting pan; roast for 1 hour. Meanwhile, put parsley, mint, thyme, vinegar, pepper flakes, garlic, onion, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse to make a thick paste; set aside.

After 1 hour, remove brisket from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully add broth to pan, spread herb paste over brisket, arrange mushrooms and carrots around brisket, cover pan with foil and continue roasting, basting every 45 minutes or so, until very tender, about 2.5-3 hours more.

Transfer brisket to a platter; set aside to let rest for 10 minutes. Skim off and discard any fat from liquid in pan. Trim brisket further, if desired, then thinly slice against the grain (here’s how to do that) and spoon pan sauce over the top.

Alternate crock pot directions

Reduce amount of chicken broth to 1 cup. Spray a crock pot with cooking spray or line with a crock pot liner.

Season brisket all over with salt and pepper and then place in the crock pot. Put parsley, mint, thyme, vinegar, pepper flakes, garlic, onion, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse to make a thick paste; spread over brisket.

Add broth to crock pot, spread herb paste over brisket, and arrange mushrooms and carrots around brisket. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

Transfer brisket to a platter; set aside to let rest for 10 minutes. If you want to use the juices as gravy, put them in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat about 10 minutes, until they reduce a bit and aren’t so watery. Skim off and discard any fat from liquid in pan. Trim brisket further, if desired, then thinly slice against the grain and spoon pan sauce over the top.

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Caldo Verde

Q: How do you get a dedicated meatatarian who hates greens to stuff his/her face with a lesser-known veggie like kale?

A: Mince it up really finely and add it to a soup flavored with chorizo, mint, and cilantro. Yum!

This soup gets a nice hit of smokiness from 1/2 lb of diced chorizo. Make sure you get the Spanish kind, which is cured like salami, and not the Mexican kind, which is raw and must be crumbled and cooked before eating. I made a few changes to the directions for ease of use, mainly to modify an odd part that instructed you to run the kale through a meat grinder to chop it up. A food processor (or just a plain old kitchen knife) does the trick just fine.

For a vegetarian option, I imagine this recipe would be delicious with vegetable broth replacing the chicken stock, and crumbled, cooked soyrizo replacing the chorizo. (With those modifications, it would also be vegan.)

I took several pictures of this but none of them turned out well, so forgive me for the lack of images in this post.

Caldo Verde (from Food Network)

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 9 cups chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1/2 pound chorizo or linguica, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1/2 pound kale
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 2 tablespoons chopped mint
* Salt and pepper
* Crusty bread, as an accompaniment (I used a seven-grain loaf I found in HEB’s bakery section.)

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until vegetables are wilted, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock, and minced crushed red pepper. and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until potatoes fall apart, about 1 hour.

While the soup is cooking, finely chop the kale with a food processor (or by hand).

When the soup is thick and the potatoes have broken up, whisk to break up the remaining potato pieces. Add the sausage and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded kale and simmer until the leaves are softened but still slightly crunchy and flavors have melded, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, mint, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread.

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