Tuesday, January 4, 2011
A few years ago, we spent the week between Christmas and New Year at a wonderfully romantic bed and breakfast in the Hamptons. The inn had a highly lauded restaurant open to the public for dinner and it was there that we had one of the best meals ever. The highlight was a brisket served with a sauce so flavorful that talked about it for weeks after.
As Valentine's Day approached, I decided it would be great fun to surprise Brian by recreating that meal. An email request to the inn-keeper quickly brought a response from the chef who said he'd be happy to provide the recipe. I tweaked it a bit for the home cook but managed to obtain nearly the same amazing flavor and Valentine's dinner was a hit. I've made it a couple of times since, always on special occasions, and this time it was for a romantic New Year's Eve dinner for two. It may seem a bit of work but it's so, so worth it.
1 Beef brisket, approximately 4 lbs.
3 Onions, peeled
1/2 Head celery
4 Large carrots, peeled
8 Cloves garlic, peeled
3 Cups red wine
4 Cups veal stock *
Small bunch fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
* The chef makes his own veal stock by roasting veal bones but he suspected I might not and said prepared veal stock would suffice. The sauce will not thicken as well, however, which is why some flour is needed.
Let the meat rest in the pan until it can be removed without breaking. Strain out the vegetables, pour the liquid into a pot and reduce it slowly until it is almost syrupy. Thicken with flour, if needed, and finish with the butter.
Makes approximately 8-10 servings.