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Italian-style braised brisket.
you will need:
A 2-3 pound piece of first cut brisket; make sure it has a thick layer of fat on one side
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, coarsely chopped
peeled sticks of carrot, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
Celery stalks, cut into 1-2 pieces
A metal or pan dish a few inches deep
A gallon-sized ziploc bag
Place the brisket in the ziploc bag. Add the garlic, oregano and salt to taste, and enough olive oil to coat. Put in the fridge and marinate for at least a half hour, or up to a day in advance.
Turn the broiler on your oven up to high. Place the brisket, fat side down, in the pan. Put the pan under the broiler and cook it for 5 minutes. Take the pan out, turn the brisket over, and cook the other side for another 5 minutes. It's important that the beef be fat side up at this point. Take the pan out, turn off the broiler, and set the oven to 350 degrees.
Add the onion, plus enough carrot and celery pieces to loosely fill the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth, but make sure that the top of the brisket is still above the broth. You don't want it to be completely submerged. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil so that steam can't escape. Put the pan in the oven, and cook for 4 hours.
Serving instructions: cut the brisket in thin strips against the grain. The broth may be used as a gravy; separate out the vegetables, mix water and flour in a sauce pan. Add the broth to the saucepan and heat until reaching a thick consistency. Baked potatoes or egg noodles make for a good grain compliment to the meal.
Food theory: Brisket comes from around the front legs of the cow, right in front of the shoulder. As such, it is a heavily used muscle that's very tough. However, unlike the shoulder cut, brisket has a thick layer of fat on it. This fat can be utilized to keep the brisket juicy and tender during the long cooking time, and not dry out. This is why the fat needs to be up when it goes in for the 4 hours.
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