The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes Hardcover – Oct 4 2011
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About the Author
Stephanie Pierson is an author and a journalist who writes about food, design, and lifestyle issues. She is a regular contributor to Atlantic.com's food section. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Saveur, Metropolitan Home, and Eating Well. She is the author of a dozen books, including Vegetables Rock!, and has collaborated with chefs on five cookbooks. She lives in New York, New York, and is thinking of moving to Kansas City because of the barbecue possibilities.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
There's a list of 50 Things About Brisket That People Can Disagree About, and suggestions for what to read when you're eating brisket. There's even a listing of suggested wines (high and low in price) for each brisket. Nothing has been overlooked!
Now that we're speaking of wines, Pierson recommended Frog's Leap Rutherford Merlot - superb pairing! This is a marvelous wine with tempting notes of rich black berry and traces of cocoa powder. There is a rumor of ripened red berries and cherries abetted by a tad of mocha, herbs, and spice. Find it at [...]
It goes without saying that in order to achieve optimum results with any of these recipes you must have the best brisket to be found. Again, we followed Pierson's advice and found Brandt Beef ([...] Amazing quality! As noted by a Manging Partner of the Master Chef's Institute, "When tested against competitors in their specific category, Brandt Natural Beef's line rated highest in the flavor, texture and tenderness categories." We'll second that! Unlike past briskets, and we've had quite a few, Brandt's brisket is vastly superior, ultra flavorful, juicy and fork tender.
We're always delighted when a cookbook includes sources and recommendations - we especially appreciate the above two that certainly added to our dining pleasure.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Brisket is, after all, a very simple matter.
Just use my recipe.
Four pounds of brisket from the supermarket --- the less you spend, the better. On a burner turned up fairly high, brown the beef in a Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Round French Oven. Add a bottle of red wine. Two large chopped onions. Three or four diced carrots, celery stalks, tomatoes. A tablespoon or two of tomato paste. One or two crushed garlic cloves. Salt and pepper. Set in a 350-degree oven for 3-4 hours, turning the brisket over once or twice and adding water, as necessary.
Ah. Just like Mama used to make.
Here's the problem: Your mother used another recipe.
And as someone wise has said of brisket, "With most foods, there's a right way and a wrong way. With brisket, there's only my way."
There were so many "my ways" --- including her way --- that Stephanie Pierson wrote "The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes." It turns out to be a really excellent book, or should I say, a very tasty book.(There is only one clinker in these pages: a chapter about wines that are good partners with brisket. Unnecessary. There is only one. It's called Diet Coke.)
Home cooking is the big idea here. ("Rarely has a truffle ever gone into the making of one," Pierson writes.) And slow cooking. ("Time and the brisket are friends.) And love. ("I say: a brisket in every pot, in every Crock-Pot, on every Weber, in every barbeque joint, on every Passover platter, in every deli, at every butcher, in every food truck, on every TV food show, food site, food blog.")
Brisket's the ultimate comfort food. Which means many people want to comment. Butchers. Restaurateurs. Experts ("As you cook, two important things happen. Collagen breaks down and forms gelatin, while muscle fibers tighten up and squeeze out moisture into your cooking liquid, flavoring it.")
The heart of the book, of course, is the recipes. Some are eye-popping. Lipton dry onion soup mix? Oh, dear. And, from the assistant to the rabbis at New York's Temple Emanu-el, a recipe calling for two cans of jellied cranberry sauce. And this woman calls herself a Jew!
Brisket with ginger, orange peel and tomato. With tangy peaches. With Korean chile. A brisket burger. Barbequed. And many more worth trying. Yum. Eat these words.
As the book explains, a good brisket should fall apart at the fork, so slow cooking is a must. Start low and start early. Use lots and lots of onions. Pre-browning appears to be optional, and the book recommends a number of flavourings, the most basic being to cover the brisket in a tomato based sauce, but simmering in wine or stock works as well. Add root vegetables or squashes - one Cuban variation recommends plantain! Feel free to amalgamate ideas..
So far I've tried about a half dozen of the variations but in terms of technique Nach Waxman's approach of slicing the meat mid process to create a greater surface area for browning does an excellent job of enhancing the flavour inside. End pieces are a favourite with my crowd - another suggestion is to turn the oven on broil for about 15 minutes to blacken the outside just a bit, and then return to low temperatures for the rest.
Admittedly the number of recipes is not large and half of these are for people with smokers. Maybe when the barbeque needs replacing. And yes there are barbeque recipes too - but the kind that uses wood chips and coal - mine is gas. However that Big Green Egg sure sounds interesting.
It's a good book to have or at least read through, even if only for the interviews with the brisketeers which will bring a smile your lips. These people, and there are brisket cookoffs represented here as well, know their brisket.
And the best part - I no longer have leftovers for brisket hash. Mmmmmmm. :-)