Shiraz Brisket

I love this local market called Freshfields Farm, which I have mentioned before. It's like paradise walking in there. Coming from the Florida heat, you walk into this nice, cool oasis of fresh fruits and vegetables. You grab a cart and wander the aisles, finding different goodies on each trip. The air smells fresh, and I find myself calmed by the experience. This time, I decided to grab a boniato and see what I could do with it. It was an ugly little vegetable, but I knew this could work out. Checkout is orderly (seriously, this process can ruin a shopping trip if done poorly).

Though small, that market is mighty. But wait, there's more. After coming out of veggie heaven, you walk a few steps over into a man's paradise, meat central. All the steak, brisket, ribs, chicken thighs, and salmon you can dream of.

This is a place I feel safe buying meat at. Their suppliers are mainly local, and I am mistrusting of large meat plants for the most part. While I know quality and welfare standards are nothing like they formerly were, I still prefer to go local when I can, especially if costs are comparable. And theirs are a great value.

The brisket is hard to pass up. I walk by these gorgeous cuts of meat and suddenly my creative juices are flowing and before you know it I am feeling bound and determined to make something new. That is my thing, right?

I've made oven roasted and crock pot beef brisket. No smoker, yet, tragically. But though amazing, I am a firm believer in using various cooking techniques. So how about something new in the oven? After all, I'd only used that method once, and you can't use your first time as your only benchmark. Time to up the ante.

On a side note, I would like to say that I think chopped brisket (or in the case of slow cooking like this, shredded) is the way to go. I am just not into eating it sliced on a sandwich. Chopped. Always. Just another reason to take it slow in the heat.

For this oven roasted variety, I picked up a 1 and a half pound brisket, and started with a dry rub of salt, white pepper, chili powder, paprika, and ground mustard. I also added some chopped onion and portobellini mushrooms to the pan.


I roasted the brisket for 1 hour at 350 degrees F, with the goal being to get a nice crust on the outside. That was certainly accomplished. The reason I put the onions and mushrooms in for this part was to give them a chance to cook down before adding the liquids.


To keep the meat from drying out during the rest of the cooking process, you have to add some liquid. In my last oven-roasted brisket recipe post, I used beef broth. This time I went in a whole other direction and poured in shiraz and soy sauce. Soy sauce can be a good substitute for beef broth in a pinch, so I knew it would bring that meaty flavor to the liquid. I also added some fresh garlic and diced jalapeno. Time to get real, brisket.


At that point I covered the pan with tin foil, lowered the oven to 300 degrees, and let it go for a little over 2 hours, until that meat was just falling apart when poked with a pork. I was going as nuts as my cats were smelling this business cook. Two hours felt like forever. LOOK AT THOSE MUSHROOMS. Cooked down into perfection. And that sauce I had left? Yeah.


It shredded with just the touch of a fork. *drool*


To make matters even better, I made that crazy boniato I found the same fresh market. It's also known as a "white sweet potato", and has the health factors a sweet tater is known for but is less sweet. I cubed it, boiled it, mashed it, and mixed in butter and sour cream just as I would have a regular potato and yeah, that sucker was GOOD with some of that sauce and mushrooms on top.


We all know red wine has a potent, rich flavor (which is likely why it took a few years of drinking white wine for me to finally convert over to the dark side, which for the record is much better), and braising brisket in there just allowed some of that flavor to transfer into the meat. The result was an incredibly moist, deeply flavored brisket. What I mean by deep is that the flavor is complex, like a marsala that has had plenty of time to simmer. The mushrooms cooked in the wine each had their own richness, as portobellos are a meatier type of mushroom and these are similar in taste, though milder (and significantly smaller in size). The jalapenos added a hint of spice, but as I've learned in other recipes, when you cook a jalapeno down it winds up much sweeter. Long story short: this brisket was phenomenal.

Red wine is known to make stews better, and using it here was definitely the right move. This was a fairly lean cut of meat, so I didn't have a lot of fat in the remaining sauce. This made it perfect to add on the shredded meat and the potatoes, as cooking on that low heat caused it to thicken. It was heavenly.

Special shout out to my adorable Bridesmaid glass which was a participation award after one of my closest friends got married last year. Perfect glass for both the photo and my tasty beverage.

Shiraz Brisket Recipe

Ingredients:

1.5 pound beef brisket
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (I used portobellini)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups shiraz
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray pan with avocado oil to prevent sticking. Combine salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and ground mustard together in a small bowl and rub into both sides of brisket. Place in pan along with onion and mushrooms and add cook for 1 hour. Add green onion, shiraz, soy sauce, garlic, and jalapeno to pan and cover with foil. Lower heat to 300 degrees and replace in oven. Cook for an additional 2-3 hours, until meat shreds with a fork. Serve with remaining wine as sauce.

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