Sunday, October 09, 2011

Pulled Brisket Taco with Hoisin BBQ Sauce

This summer, C and I have enjoyed many a lunch at Bone-In Artisan Barbecue on Wheels. They park and work in tandem with one of our favorite restaurants Baan Sawan. Bone-In provides the vittles, and Baan serves insanely great cocktails crafted to go with. This past Saturday, we had their smoked brisket with hickory-hoisin sauce. With no plans for Sunday, we decided to give it a try for ourselves. Since we don't have access to their awesome focaccia bread, we went the taco route.

3 pounds beef brisket
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 jalepeno peppers, halved
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup molasses

Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate and leave the pan on the heat.

Add garlic, onion, jalepenos, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone (CAUTION: a vinegar steam facial is a bad idea), scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water.

Return the brisket to the pan and pull some of the onions on top of it. Crush the tomatoes and add them and the tomato sauce to the pot along with the bay leaves and molasses. Cover and braise in the oven for 3-4 hours.

Gently remove brisket from the pan. Pull the brisket apart with two forks and set aside.

For the sauce, we cooled the braising liquid slightly, then blended with an immersion blender. We then seasoned with a small bottle of prepared hickory bbq sauce and 1/4 cup hoisin sauce.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Only my sister would send me a gift basket.... of mushrooms. Yep, you heard me right, out of the blue two pounds of lovely wild mushrooms showed up at my door. Included were Trumpet Royale, Forest Nameko, Alba Clamshell, Brown Clamshell, and Velvet Pioppini.

With so many mushrooms on hand, and C's love of cream-based soups, I decided to make a cream of wild mushroom soup. Since I hadn't made it before, I first searched out a recipe. My go-to is Ina Garten, and her mushroom soup is where I started. I then added and subtracted to use the flavors C and I like best.

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

In a large pot, melt 4TB butter

2 leeks, roughly choped
1 stalk celery, chopped
Sauté until the leeks begin to brown

Add ½ cup brandy
Cook until slightly reduced

1 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped
Stir occasionally until softened

6 cups beef broth, bring to a boil
Cook 20 minutes

Turn off the heat and puree mixture using a hand or stand blender.

A few minutes before serving, warm over low heat, but do not bring to a boil. Add a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup cream, salt and pepper to taste. Add additional cream (and a drizzle of truffle oil in your bowl) if you'd like.