Well we made it all the way through January without having a dinner party, but February came around and the itch came back. Work has been busy lately, and we’ve had some busy weekday evenings, but with a weekend free in London we decided to do it again. We asked a few friends to come around Saturday night – some of the regulars (Nicole, Freddy, Phil, Julie) and a few new people that we’ve been meaning to catch up with since the holiday season died down – Bryan, a friend of mine from college, his brand new fiancée (congrats!) Katy, a real – live Brit, and Tim, a friend of a friend. One of Phil’s friends joined us as well, so we were close to half new friends!
Anyway, I have been dying to make braised short ribs for ages. I got all pumped to make these. Thennnn I called the butchers. Both the ones in our neighborhood (am I the only one that thinks it’s awesome that we have two butchers?) and nothing. “You’ll have trouble finding those around here, m’darling”. Damn. Oh well, maybe it’s a sign that I shouldn’t try to make them until I have the Le Creuset.
Alas, I made beef brisket, white bean mash, and a simple salad. The brisket – well, I need to check the temperature on my oven as I think it’s running a bit high, but the sauce was amazing. I’ll say it. Damn, tangy, beefy, carmelized-oniony. And though it was good that night, it was so much better the next day when we didn’t leave the house and had steak and eggs for dinner. Lightly fried egg, sauce, brisket. I’ll make the whole thing over again just for day two.
And, I’ll say that the white bean mash, which I tried a few years ago for the first time, was a great alternative to the British staple – potatoes. It looks a bit like warm hummus, but the consistency is thick and luxurious (without an entire stick of butter!) and soaks up a sauce quite nicely.
Without further ado, here are the recipes:
Brisket - ingredients below, rest of directions here.
Serves 8 to 10 servings
3 large onions, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your heat preference)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups beef stock (unsalted or low salt)
1 cup ketchup*
1 cup chili sauce* (the recipe had this listed - I had to look up how to make, but Heinz will do)
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
8 to 10 pound brisket
White Bean Puree
* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
* 2 garlic cloves
* 2 (15-oz) cans white beans such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
* 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 1 1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary, divided
* 1/3 cup dry white wine
In a food processor, with the motor running, drop in garlic. Add the white beans, chicken broth and 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Pulse until smooth.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add rosemary and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add wine and bring to boil. Stir in the white bean mixture. Keep on heat until warm.
Off to Russia today for a long weekend – thanks for the Christmas gift Matt!