Gochujang Brisket

Gochujang Brisket

Gochujang Brisket

With Hanukkah right around the corner I have a hankering for brisket. But, just for fun this year, I am taking our beloved Jewish brisket recipe and giving it a Korean twist by replacing the tomato-based sauce with a gochujang sauce.

Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.

Beef plus gochujang is a classic Korean pairing, slow-roasted beef brisket plus gochujang equals a match made in heaven. Fresh ginger and plenty of garlic round out the flavors. A touch of sugar brings out gochujang’s natural sweetness. Serve this brisket as the main dish of the holiday gathering and be sure to serve leftovers as gochujang brisket sandwiches – two ways to ensure happy guests this holiday season!

Gochujang Brisket

Gochujang

Gochujang Brisket Recipe

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Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales
Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Sending my warmest wishes to you at Hanukkah
May you be blessed with joy, good health, peace, and tender brisket….

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Oh how we adore our brisket. And since the cooking process takes over eight hours, I usually make enough for leftovers and extra to freeze for later too. This year – the intersection of Hanukkah, brisket in the freezer, spying some mouth-watering tamales at LA’s Grand Central Market, and a tamalada (my Latino friends’ traditional Christmas season tamale-making party) – led to a unique holiday treat…Hanukkah Brisket Tamales. Made with my super-tender beef brisket, from a recipe that we have been making for many years. It is so good it’s one of the few recipes that I never adjust. The addition of carrots sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with a bit of cumin, salt and pepper plus a medley of sautéed onion and jalapeño adds fresh flavor and spiciness. The (optional) gouda cheese brings another dimension of smokiness and creamy texture. And lastly, who could resist the adorable little packages all wrapped up like a present, representing the age-old Jewish custom to give gifts of gelt to children on Hanukkah.

Note: Omit dairy or replace with non-dairy vegan substitutes for your Observant guests who follow the laws of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws).

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales Recipe

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Chicago I Love You

brisket sandwich

 Chicago Brisket Sandwich

The Brisket Kid’s Most Tender Beef Brisket on a Grilled Roll
With Smoked Mozzarella and Spicy Asian Slaw

To play basketball in the alley with my nephews. To watch Stone’s baseball game at Wells Park. To reconnect with some of the kindest, most caring and fun 125 people I have ever known at our high school reunion. To be visiting my favorite town during the celebration of the Stanley Cup. To dine at fabulous restaurants with my brother and darling sister-in-law. To have a BBQ with a super-talented finalist of Top Chef. To have my brother declare that my “Chicago Brisket Sandwich” is the best sandwich he’s ever had. Last weekend ranks up there. Way. Up.

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Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Pickled Fennel

lacquered brisket of beef, pickled fennel

Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Anise Ginger Garlic Tamari Glaze
Served with Pickled Fennel

Meet a match made in heaven: Lacquered Beef Brisket & Pickled Fennel. Bright tart crisp pickled fennel flavored with star anise and cinnamon marries super-tender slow-cooked brisket brushed with a barely sweet Asian-flavored sauce. Reducing the brisket cooking liquid of beef broth, star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar, and tamari results in an intensely flavored glossy glaze.

The meat is lacquered with the glaze, and it is painted onto the plate. The result is a striking combination of flavor, texture, color, temperature. Everything can be prepared a day or two ahead. A five lb. brisket serves nine, with the cost per serving under four dollars, making this a terrific dish for entertaining.

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Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest

Are you free this evening? We would be delighted if you could join us at our Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest. The party begins with “Cava on the Lawn.” We’ve moved some furniture out to the side yard, so get comfortable because tonight promises a gorgeous sunset and a meal lovingly prepared to surprise and delight your tastebuds. Relax, enjoy each other’s company, mi casa es su casa!

A brilliant meal we enjoyed a couple weeks ago at Chef John Sedlar’s Rivera Restaurant in downtown LA got us crazy-excited to cook in his style. He is the master of Modern Southwest Cuisine; a blend of Spanish, Mexican, Native-American and Anglo-American food married with the technique of nouvelle French cooking. It is an exciting vibrant cuisine with countless possibilities for the imaginative cook.

The Wine List

We’ve chosen stellar Spanish wines to accompany our Modern Southwest dinner. A sparkling Cava to enjoy “on the lawn,” a refreshing white Albariño, a voluptuous red Garnacha (superb with the brisket), and we finish the evening with a caramel-y Oloroso Sherry. Spanish wines are a terrific value, all these selections were under $25/bottle.

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Ladrillo de Brisket, Modern Southwest Style

Ladrillo de Brisket, Modern Southwest Style
Rioja Chipolte Agave Black Bean Sauce

Smoked Wagyu Brisket @ Laurelhurst

Kirk ordered the 12 Hour-Smoked Wagyu Brisket/Ozark BBQ Sauce pictured right there behind the Grilled Romaine with Romesco at Laurelhurst Market, the exciting new steakhouse inspired brasserie in Portland, Oregon. I have been making brisket for years, but it never occurred to me to cut in any other way than against the grain, into long slices. Here at Laurelhurst was the inspiration for future brisket presentations – serve the brisket as a brick, leave the slicing and shredding to the diner!

Duck “Enfrijolada” with Poached Organic Egg @ Rivera

Another inspiration came from Chef John Sedlar’s Rivera Restaurant in downtown LA. We had a most delightful experience there a couple weeks ago. Our server mentioned that the duck sauce ingredients included chiles, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), black beans, and Spanish red wine reduction…it had just a hint of sweetness and a hint of smoky spiciness – a combination of flavors that was bound to be perfect with brisket at our upcoming Modern Southwest dinner party.

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Tradition! The Brisket! Tradition!

Tomato Onion Brisket

It’s been a decade since I cooked my first Passover brisket. I had been tweaking the recipe by adding more red wine, and substituting wheat-free tamari, caramelizing the meat under the broiler, and lowering the cooking temperature. In recent years there are no more changes! If you come to our Passover dinner this is the brisket that you’ll be served. Now it’s tradition! And it’s gooooooooooood!

When I first looked at this recipe years ago, I was skeptical. Garlic powder and ground ginger weren’t esteemed ingredients in my kitchen. And I didn’t remember the last time I used onion soup mix. Was it to make dip in college? But the combination of the brisket from Paulina Meat Market and canned tomato sauce mixture produced, well, a miracle of sorts.

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Corned Beef & Cabbage Brunch


I prepare a traditional corned beef and cabbage – simmering the corned brisket in liquid with pickling spices, bay, peppercorns and carrot, onion, and celery for about four hours. Then I remove the beef, add quartered cabbage and potatoes, and cook until tender.

For this brunch dish, eggs are poached in the corned beef cooking liquid.  This gives the eggs an extraordinary flavor.

I mix mayonnaise and creme fraiche with whole grain mustard and horseradish and spread this on toasted rye bread. Top the rye with sliced corned beef, then the poached egg, along side a helping of potatoes and cabbage.


This photo is my submission to CLICK, a theme-based monthly food photography event. The theme this month is “metal.” This food photograph features my French SABATIER knife with fork.

Tomato Onion Brisket for 32

Sauce:

Mix together
4 cans 16 oz. tomato sauce
4 packets dried onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. good red wine
1 T. ginger powder
3 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)

Season the 12 lb. of brisket (two 6 lb. briskets) with salt and pepper then caramelize the meat under the broiler.
Top the briskets with 8 medium onions, sliced lengthwise.

Smother with the sauce and sliced onions and bake covered at 275 for six or more hours until tenda as butta.

Adapted from Marvin Shapiro’s Roast Brisket recipe. Originally, years ago, I was not too excited about this recipe with its lack of fresh ingredients (dried onion soup mix and garlic powder?). But it really is inexplicably delicious, we make it every year.

Cook’s Tip: Prepare a day ahead and refrigerate, then slice against the grain, return brisket and all sauce to the pan, and reheat covered. Serve with horseradish, of course.