At the mere mention of brisket, my mouth waters. I do not buy it that often, but with the chill in the air this spring, I went shopping. You can’t buy a small amount of brisket. About the smallest size I could find was 5 lbs. It is a lot of meat for the two of us, but it can be used in many different meals after being cooked. The tough cut of brisket requires it to be braised slowly, but it doesn’t mean that it is difficult to make or prep. I made this meal during the week and we sat down to eat together before baseball practice. I am constantly picking up and running to one function or another. I really understand how parents get caught in the drive thru or convenience food cycle, but here is a couple of ideas for meals that are unprocessed and cheaper then drive thru, not to mention we were able to sit down and have a meal together. It is something we make an effort to do everyday.
Start out with a 5 lb. trimmed piece of beef brisket in the slow-cooker in the morning before the run to the school bus.
Pretty simple ingredient list, but if you do not have mushrooms, no worries. Gabe and I ate all the mushrooms up before we ate anything while we were serving up our meat. Oops. Yum.
Onion, 1 thinly sliced
Garlic, 6 gloves
Tomato paste, 1 can
Beef bouillon powder, 1 tablespoon. I use Massel because I love the clean flavor.) Now for full disclosure, I work for Massel, but I work for them because I like their product a ton.)
NOTE: The brisket will shrink quite a bit in size because it is so marbled. No worries.
Fill the wine up until the sides are covered with the wine. Cover and put on low for 8 hours. There is something sorta decadent about opening a bottle of wine at 7 in the morning, by the way.
When Gabe arrived home from school, I had veggies cut up for him to snack on while he is doing his homework at the kitchen table. Cut up veggies are my son’s version of salad. I pulled the brisket out of the slow cooker and fished out the mushrooms. Yum. We devoured them all. I poured all stuff left behind in a pitcher. I start peeling potatoes and set them to boil. In fifteen minutes, the fat raised to the top of the pitcher, then I skimmed all that fat off.
Now for my favorite kitchen tool… my immersion blender a.k.a. the boat motor. Blend the de-greased gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning. This time, it needed a little fresh ground pepper. It is tasty just like this, but I added a surprise finish to this gravy. I used BLiS barrel aged fish sauce. Just a touch creates a perfect earthy unami tone to the sauce with no effort. Huge difference and is becoming one of my pantry must haves.
Then I drained and mashed the potatoes, sliced the brisket, and poured the gravy all over it. 10 minutes prep in the morning, 20 minutes prep in the evening and we had a fabulous meal before heading out for practice. We had dinner early, but my son did not fill up on junk and not eat his dinner later. I am trying not to eat close to bed time, so it has helped me as well. If Gabe is hungry after practice, he has an apple and is satisfied. We have cut down on snacking a great deal. The next morning I placed heated up mashed potatoes and gravy in my son’s thermos for part of his lunch.
NOTE: My son is allergic to dairy, so I mash our potatoes with vegan butter and rice milk. It is the only kind of mashed potato that he can have and I have not missed the dairy, especially as I know that these potatoes have no cholesterol and fewer calories. I am trying to keep our meat servings at about 4 oz.
On our lazy Sunday morning, I roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven. Sauteed sliced briskets with onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Tossed them together, you have one fabulous sweet potato hash. I topped mine with a poached egg and a couple squeezes of sriracha sauce with an endless cup of black coffee. Gabe had his two helpings straight up with a berry smoothie chaser. Now that is perfect Sunday morning.
We love taco night. No flour tortillas at our house. We like the small (4 in. diameter) corn ones. My son can’t have dairy, doesn’t like any cheese replacement, so he goes cheese-less.
Brisket tacos…slice of avocado, cheese, onion, cilantro, and roasted chili salsa. Oh, yes, lots of lime.
Rethinking the way you use your leftovers or planning head of time what you will do with the extra food, you have less waste and you really stretch your food dollars. The average American household waste $130-$175 a month on spoiled or discarded food.
Pull up a chair, Elizabeth