Archives for March 13, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day with a Southwestern Twist

St. Patrick’s Day with a Southwestern Twist

For St. Patrick’s Day last year, we covered the most delicious cupcakes in the history of chocolate. We’re going to go the savory route this year with brisket and pickled cabbage. Chef J is not known for being the most traditional lad around, so of course he is giving this meal a bit of a twist! Whether you see green in the form of shamrocks or cacti, Chef J’s Southwestern Brisket is sure to make you feel lucky. A jar of pickled cabbage is a good substitute for a pot of gold, right? Take it away, Chef J!

It’s almost that time of year again! That time when green starts making it’s way into fashion and people dig deep to claim some far removed Irish heritage. Ah, St. Patrick’s Day! Is it safe to assume we will all be celebrating this holiday by spending the day in church? Perhaps one might take advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy a small glass of wine or break lent and have a bit of salted pork. Let’s face it: most of us here in the states really don’t know anything about St. Patrick’s Day. It has been given an entirely different definition than was intended, but that’s ok. It’s now an excuse to party. Is that such a bad thing? I argue that no, it is not. We all love a good reason to get together with friends and family to enjoy some food and drink. Let’s tape some cardboard shamrocks around the office, tint our cupcake frosting green, and do our best leprechaun impressions- it’s time to party!

The first St. Patrick’s treat I think about, after Jameson and Guinness (so, the third thing…), is corned beef and cabbage. Is it Irish? No (the demand for and production of corned beef was actually in part responsible for much of the devastation of the Irish famine). But is it delicious? You bet your Blarney Stone! You will find the internet littered with recipes for corned beef this time of year; it’s essentially a brisket that has been cured in brine for about 10 days, then boiled. You can also pick one up at the super market that is ready to go. Although I do occasionally get the craving for saltpeter, I usually prefer to enjoy my brisket in a more southwestern style.

Here is a St. Patrick’s Day recipe for delicious, tender brisket that you don’t need a week and a half to prepare.

Southwestern Brisket:

  • 3-4 lb. brisket
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 TBS ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS ground mustard
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Heat your oven or BBQ to 175.
Combine all spices and mix well.
Evenly coat the brisket with the spice rub.
Wrap the brisket tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Then aluminum foil. Place it in a deep roasting pan to catch any juices that might escape.
Roast the wrapped beef for 6 hours.
Remove it from the heat and let it sit, while still wrapped up, for at least 30 minutes.
Get your oven or BBQ up to 375.
Unwrap the brisket carefully. Save the juices!
Place the brisket back in the roasting pan and pour the liquid over it.
Roast at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping it over every 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it sit in a warm place for another 15 minutes before slicing.
A little spicy mustard or prepared horseradish will put this over the top!

Quick Pickled Cabbage:

  •  ½ head of cabbage (green or purple), thinly sliced and washed
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 TBS whole coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 2-3 whole cloves

For this recipe you will need a very clean, heat proof container that can be sealed, leaving little to no room for air. I have found that the big pickle jar (the one on the bottom shelf at the super market) is the perfect size.

Combine all of the ingredients except for the cabbage and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the salt has dissolved.
Pack half of the cabbage into the jar and pour the liquid over until it is just covered. Do your best to get about half of the spices in.
Pack the remaining cabbage in and pour the rest of the liquid over. If there is still a little room on top you can press more cabbage in or add more simmering water. You want it to come just about to the rim.
Cover the top of the jar with a few layers of plastic wrap and then screw the lid on tightly. The plastic will help to form an airtight seal.
Let the jar sit at room temperature until it has cooled. It can sit out over night.
Refrigerate after opening.

Printer friendly recipes: SW Brisket with Pickled Cabbage