The allium family (including garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, and chives) is well known to even the most basic chef. After all, what pantry is complete without onions and garlic? But these tasty plants are also nutrition powerhouses, packed with antioxidants that have shown potential in the fight against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
This week’s recipe uses onions in a delicious beef brisket, and was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating.”
– John Waters
Pam’s Mom’s Brisket
Pam’s Mom’s Brisket
“On Food” column in the Examiner Magazine, Patricia Unterman (2000)
- 1 package Lipton’s dried onion soup mix (original)
- 3 medium onions, cut into thin slices (halve each onion longitudinally from pole to pole [tip to root ends] and then slice inward thinly toward the center of the onion. The slices are nice and uniform. For a visual, see https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-thinly-slice-an-onion-109536)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup bottled chile sauce
- 1 12-ounce bottle lager beer
- 1 4–5 pound piece of beef brisket or chuck or 6 pounds short ribs, trimmed of most external fat
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Beef stock or water if necessary
- Preheat oven to 350°F and set a rack on the lower middle level.
- Mix the soup mix, onions, celery, chile sauce, beer, and water in a large Dutch oven or covered casserole. Add the meat, turning it in the sauce. Spoon some sauce over the top.
- Cover and bake for 2½ to 4 hours, turning the meat over once midway through the cooking time and basting with the sauce. After 3 hours, check for doneness with a fork; the meat should be fork tender. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with beef stock or water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To remove excess fat, you can refrigerate the meat and sauce overnight and spoon out the congealed fat; slice and reheat the meat in the sauce. Or you can degrease the sauce with a spoon and serve right away.
- Notes from Dr. Doody: This is definitely nostalgic comfort food. My copy of the recipe was cut out of the newspaper, and is brown and spotted. I recently found the “On Food” column referenced above online; it may or may not be from the same newspaper article from which I clipped the recipe. In the online column, Ms. Unterman describes the cookbook from which the recipe was taken, as follows:
- “A new cookbook, The Best American Recipes of 1999 (Houghton Mifflin, $26), describes the American diet in this last year of the millennium. Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin, two super-hip New York food insiders plucked a mere 500 recipes from thousands printed this year in books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet, tested them and narrowed the selection to just over 100. This eclectic, clever collection reminds me of the first Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins that was such a phenomenal hit when it came out 20 years ago. As my cooking pal John Chalik says, it was full of interesting but not complex recipes that work. McCullough and Hamlin have achieved the same thing by combing through thousands of recipes, following their hunches based on years of food writing and editing and testing like mad. While their methodology gives us a glimpse of this year's trends—they go so far as to name the year's top 10—this collection of recipes reveals that the 1999 American home kitchen faces comfortingly backward rather than edgily forward. But I think that's the nature of home cooking. The Best Recipes of 1999 gently brings home cooks up to date.”