Not sure when it started, perhaps to much Gone with the Wind and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which just happens to be my favourite movie OF ALL TIME and I won't be mentioning the exact number of times I have seen it, but it does runs into triple figures. What I do know is that it's love......
I've been researching for months for my upcoming trip to Louisiana and have been reading blogs on BBQ (and all the variations and interpretations), Creole, Cajun and Soul Food. I know I don't have enough time for all of it and it will probably lead to another trip at some point.
A recent purchase of Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee surprised me with a blend of Southern and Korean 'fusion' flavours (although I'm not a big fan of the fusion word when it comes to blending flavours). As I cracked open the spine the first page that opened was like a sending me a message from above (and I'm not religious!) - it was like a ray of sunshine hitting the page or it could have just been the glare from the office fluro lights! I did know this was the first dish I would have to try and cook.
Yesterday was that day to try. What was the dish?
Braised Brisket with Bourbon Peach Glaze
I had a bit of a hard time hunting down peach jam/conserve in Sydney. Why do we not make peach jam? Eventually I found a jar of Hank's peach and vanilla jam. That will do - great jam by the way!
Starting off with the dry rub of a mix of salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon I cured the brisket for 3 hours. I did make one variation and that was to halve my recipe because I just didn't need to do 4kgs of brisket.
dry rubbed and ready
Preparing the braising liquid, I was a little unsure about how it would taste after smelling the vast amount of booze that went into it. It reminded me of the pub carpet the morning after a big night. (perhaps I was a little hungover which didn't help) Anyway, bourbon and stout along with soy sauce, beef stock, brown sugar and thyme, along with some fried onions, celery, carrot and tomatoes went into the pan. Browning off the brisket fat side down, I flipped the slab of meat into the roasting tray and sealed it with foil and popped it in to the oven for 3 hours at 170 degrees.
ready for the oven
The house smelt divine after an hour.
By the time my family arrived some 4 hours later, I was preparing the peach glaze and the mashed potato, corn cobs and peas were ready. I usually get frazzled as I try to entertain, serve drinks, cook and chat but I was the complete domestic goddess today.
I did have a mishap with my masher. It got suctioned into the potato and broke in half!
By the time I was grilling the peach glaze and fat on the brisket, my family were seated and ready for the carving. I'm telling you it was a food religious experience (for me anyway!) as I sliced into the tender slab of brisket and the sticky glaze glistened.
I'm drooling as I sliced (but not on it!)
dinner is served - family style - no fancy table here folks
Even my 5 year old niece liked the brisket (she's sometimes a picky eater when it comes to sauces and whatnot) and she was very proud of herself that she decorated the plates with lemon wedges that she cut (and not at all needed with the dish but she thought it was a pretty garnish (where has she learnt that from!).
Needless to say we polished off the brisket ending in the meat sweats - and there are no leftovers. That's always a good sign but that also means I don't have any dinner tonight! Perhaps I should have done the 4 kilos?