02 April 2013

Brisket with Peach-Bourbon Glaze

While I don't like to play favorites with recipes, I will say that this brisket has become my go-to meal for (non-veg) visiting guests when I'm trying to say: "you're special!" It certainly is a special process in preparing it, as it requires starting a day ahead of time. That said, I will say that it has been my most crowd pleasing meal and for that reason, well worth the planning.

Briskets abounded in the grocery store aisles for the past few weeks in the lead up to Passover, in New York anyway. I thought I would join in and make my southern themed brisket. While I'm not Jewish and my knowledge of Kosher laws is largely restricted to what my work friend Joclyn Stern shares with me, I'm pretty certain the addition of stout in this recipe rules it out as a Passover Kosher recipe. That said, I'm also pretty sure that most Jewish families will be making their Granny's (Mother's, Great Aunt Zelma's, etc.) recipe for brisket anyway rather than searching out my blog, or old copies of Bon Appetite. 

Brisket with Peach-Bourbon Glaze
Adapted from Epicurious

Rub:

1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Brisket:

1 4-pound trimmed flat-cut brisket with about 1/3" top layer of fat
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 cups beef broth
1 12-ounce bottle stout
3/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
6 large sprigs thyme
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, cored, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Glaze:

1/2 cup peach jam or preserves
2 teaspoons bourbon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl and cover brisket entirely with the rub. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide pot, big enough to accommodate brisket, over high heat. Add brisket, fat side down. Cook undisturbed until well browned, 5–6 minutes. Carefully turn brisket with tongs and cook until browned on opposite side, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add broth and all remaining ingredients. Bring liquid to a simmer. Return brisket to pot. Cover and transfer to oven.

Braise until brisket is very tender to the touch but still holds its shape, about 4 1/2 hours. Using a large spatula, transfer brisket, fat side up, to a large plate. Strain braising liquid into a large bowl. Return liquid to pot, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. 

At this stage, cover brisket and braising liquid separately and refrigerate overnight. On Day 2 remove both brisket and liquid from the refrigerator. Skim any solidified fat from the top of the liquid. 

For glaze: Transfer 1/4 cup braising liquid to a blender. Add jam and bourbon and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Pour remaining braising liquid into a large pan or original pot -- something large enough to accommodate size of brisket and fit under your oven's broiler. Spread 3–4 tablespoons glaze on top of brisket with the back of a spoon. Broil brisket in pot until browned and glazed, watching carefully to prevent burning, 4–5 minutes.

Transfer brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and transfer to a large platter. Ladle braising liquid over. Drizzle remaining glaze on top.

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