Sunday, March 4, 2012

Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

At my job, access to any kind of blogs are blocked. Sometimes I wish that wasn't so, but I work for a school district.  Access to Facebook, YouTube and many other websites are also blocked.  It's a good thing, to keep the high school students from being  tempted to visit sites that distract from their education.  It also helps to temper a food blogger's (that would be "moi") addiction to looking at food blogs, when I should be working.  However, I have my customized iGoogle page, that I use for my browser.  One of the widgets on it is from  Each day, I see a photo of a Recipe of the Day.  I bookmark them to read when I'm at home.  This recipe left me with an urgent desire to make it. Stat.

My husband loves brisket. I have a few jars of last summer's peach jam, that didn't quite set. (That comes from using peaches that were a bit too ripe for making preserves.)  I don't drink bourbon nor do I like Stout beer. However, I love to cook with booze!

The rub is very easy to make.  I realized, on the day that I made this recipe, that I didn't allow at least 2 hours advance time to let the flavors absorb into the brisket.  I had guests coming for dinner in 5 hours, so I just forged ahead.

I rubbed and pressed the salt, pepper, paprika and cinnamon rub all over a 5 pound piece of brisket, and set the meat aside.

For the braising liquid, I chopped celery, onion, carrots and smashed garlic.  Now, for the 3/4 cup of bourbon...

Searing and braising is one of my favorite cooking methods.  Cooking an inexpensive cut of meat low and slow, in liquid, makes for a very tender dinner. Best of all, once I've got the meal in the oven, I just sit back and relax-- or, frantically clean the house for company to arrive. The meat is seared, starting fat side down until golden brown. Then flipped over and seared some more, removed and set aside.  Next, I cooked the onion until soft and then added the garlic.

The chopped veggies are added, the bourbon, brown sugar, tomato paste (NOTE: the original recipe lists chopped fresh tomatoes, but I wanted even deeper tomato flavor so I used tomato paste)... sauce, stout beer, beef broth

Fresh thyme (from my garden) and balsamic vinegar. How's that for flavor?!  Add the beef back into the liquid and let it get nicely settled in. Place the Dutch Oven into a 325F oven and let it cook slow and slow for about four hours.

Here is where I totally changed the recipe directions (you can see the original version here).  I strained the braising liquid and debated whether or not to puree the vegetables.  Then, I decided to simply reduce the braising liquid for a few minutes.  My company had arrived, so I didn't photograph this step-- I simply put about one cup of my homemade peach preserves into a bowl, and added about 2 cups of braising liquid and stirred it well.

There was a thick layer of fat, and I decided to remove most of it, so that I could apply some peach glaze directly on top.  Can you see how moist that meat is? I'm drooling, just remember how good it was!  Ahem.  So, 1 cup of peach preserves, one Tablespoon of bourbon and some salt and pepper, that I whisked together...

...and I glazed the beef very generously. 

I set the glazed brisket onto a foiled-lined baking sheet and broiled it for about 5 minutes...watching it very, very closely so that it wouldn't burn.

I sliced the brisket against the grain, nibbling on the crunchy and crusty bits of meat.  So good!

I decided not to pour the remaining sauce all over the brisket. Instead, I served the sauce on the side. My guests, and husband, were impressed.

TASTING NOTES:   One of my dinner guests was once a chef in the Boston area, which can be a little intimidating for me.  He said it was the best brisket he's ever had.  That made me feel warm and fuzzy all over.  I have to say, that while this recipe doesn't come close to the brisket I've had in Kansas City-- it's a very different recipe and is one of the best braised dinners I've ever made.  Like I said, I don't like the taste of bourbon when straight up. But, there's a depth of flavor that bourbon gives to sauces.  The stout blended well,  and the sweetness of the peach was perfect.  The alcohol has longed been burned off, so teetotalers should be okay with this recipe.

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Cathy Wiechert said...

Oh, this looks so good! I wanted to reach out and grab some from the picture. Thanks, Debby--I'm bookmarking.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Congratulations on the compliment from your chef friend Debbie. Those compliments don't come often and you should be very proud.

Your brisket looks mouth-watering and anything with bourbon has to be good.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Oh my goodness - this looks quite delicious - wonderful flavors and a very special meal. Glad to follow you!

Salsa Verde said...

These look so mouth watering and moreish!!!

TKW said...

You had me at bourbon :)

Joanne said...

My lab hasn't quite caught on to my wily blog reading ways so I still have access :P Not sure it's for the best...

My family would be thrilled if I made this for them!

Frieda Loves Bread said...

I don't drink either, so CHEERS to cooking with booze! Fabulous recipe ~ thanks for sharing!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That looks so perfect! What a delicious recipe. Peaches and bourbon work so well together in recipes.

I do drink, but my preferences are limited to wine and a few liqueurs and maybe some spirits mixed with juices (like a cosmo or a sidecar). There are many boozes I don't like to drink, but love cooking with such as brandy, port, and of course, bourbon!

Megan"s Cookin" said...

The first picture ha me sold! I have some peach jam from last year that would be perfect for this recipe. Pinned!

Chris and Amy said...

What a mouth-watering meal. Really love the mix of flavors with the spices in the rub and then the bourbon!

Amalia said...

Holy-macarol this looks amazing! It's literally making my mouth water, mmm :) And what a compliment from your friend, how awesome! It's the best when people recognize a good homemade meal, I mean they better it's raised brisket with bourbon-peach glaze, it doesn't get any better then that!

Hope you have a lovely day!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow Debbie - Those photos are making my mouth water. I think there is brisket in my future.

Little Mamanista said...

OMG!!!! I literally want to eat your whole blog right now!!!!! Everything looks AHHHHMAZZZZING!!!!


peanutlover said...

Looks really delicius for me,eem yummy

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Oh Debby, that has to be the most mouthwateringly delicious brisket I have ever seen. And you've captured it in your photos so very well ~ it's morning here but I would definitely love a juicy bite of that beauty! Nicely done. Cheers!

mr. pineapple man said...

that glaze looks perfect! YUmmy!!