Sunday, March 7, 2010


After days of being unable to cook, it felt good to put the old apron back on. I made two new recipes : brisket and cauliflower-potato gratin. Loved both. Both were Food network recipes which I will post. The Brisket was from Tyler Florence with small changes.

Beef Brisket

4 garlic• cloves, smashed

•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

•4 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles striped from the stem and chopped

•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

•1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut

•Coarsely ground black pepper


• 4 large carrots, cut in large chunks

••3 celery stalks, cut in large pieces

•4 large onions, halved

•2 cups dry red wine

•1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed

•1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

•2 bay leaves


•1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Mash the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt together with the flat-side of a knife into a paste. Add the rosemary and continue to mash until incorporated. Put the garlic-rosemary paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; stir to combine.

Season both sides of the brisket with a fair amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame and coat with the remaining olive oil. Put the brisket in the roasting pan and sear to form a nice brown crust on both sides. Lay the vegetables all around the brisket and pour the rosemary paste over the whole thing. Add the wine and tomatoes; toss in the parsley and bay leaves. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a platter, cover to keep warm. Pour out some of the excess fat, and put the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/2. (If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of wine or water and blend into the gravy).

Slice the brisket across the grain (the muscle lines) at a slight diagonal.

Cauliflower potato gratin from Claire Robinson

•2 cups creme fraiche

•1/2 cup whipping cream

•3 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into thin slices with a mandolin

•Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

•2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish

•4 cups fresh cauliflower, cut into mini florets

Place the oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk creme fraiche and whipping cream until combined.

In a large baking dish, approximately 9 by 13-inches, arrange 1/3 of potato slices, overlapping slightly. Generously season with salt, pepper, and some fresh thyme leaves. Drop 1/3 of the cream mixture in dollops over potatoes, and spread evenly, (layer will be very thin). Repeat with another layer. Layer for a 3rd and last time, covering the top of the potatoes with the cream mixture, then mini cauliflower florets, and generously season with salt, pepper, and remaining thyme.

Bake 30 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake until top is golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.

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