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Braised Brisket with Stout & Onions



Usually on Sunday if  I am on the ball, I will put something into the slow cooker for our dinner before I leave for church in the morning. Normally it will be red meat of some kind. To be honest I am not fond of chicken in the slow cooker. I find it almost gets over-cooked and I don't like the texture of it.  Beef on the other hand, or pork, lends itself quite well to being cooked in a slow cooker, especially the cheaper cuts.


I especially love Beef Brisket done in the slow cooker, either whole as a pot roast, or as I have done today, cut into chunks and as a stew.  Brisket is one of my favourite cuts of beef and is beautiful when prepared this way. 


And is is such a simple thing as well.  Cubes of brisket (I like to cut mine into 1 inch cubes) is tossed with well seasoned flour and then browned in a bit of oil, on top of the stove in a skillet.  Really brown it well on all sides. It is the colour from this initial browning that will help to colour your stew. 



The juices from the meat also caramelise a bit which adds flavour. Don't crowd the pan when you are browning.  Do it in batches if need be.  Crowding it means your meat won't brown properly.  Handy tip here. 



Onions and garlic are added as well as some stout (Guinness) and beef stock.  Stout makes for a lovely and richly flavoured gravy.  Pour it all into the slow cooker, and then let the slow cooker (crock pot) do the rest.


Six hours on low does the trick. You will have fork tender chunks of beef, in a really rich beautifully flavoured gravy  . . .  


And plenty of it . . .  and so beautiful spooned out over a lovely pile of creamy mash.  I cheat sometimes and use the frozen mash. Especially after church.  It is so simple to use and just as good as fresh mash. I add a bit of butter and cream to mine, which makes it even tastier.


Today I cooked English Petit Pois to serve with it, which really went down a real treat.  I love Petit Pois.  I always buy them. I like them a lot more than the regular ones!  So sweet and tender! 



The smell of this when it hits your nose as you walk back into your house immediately starts your taste buds to tingling and your mouth to watering.  You will hardly be able to wait until you have the rest of the meal ready before digging in, but you must  . . .



Trust me when I tell you. It is well worth the wait.  Well, well worth it  . . .


This is just so, so, so good.  I know it might seem like winter food to some, and yes, it is, but sometimes in the summer you get a cool day (like today) and you just crave something like this.  Today was the day. It went down a real treat!




*Braised Brisket with Stout & Onions*
Serves 4
 

A delicious stew that cooks long and slow in a slow cooker. You can also do it in the oven if you wish or on top of the stove. I like to pop it into the slow cooker on Sunday mornings and then I have a delicious dinner waiting for us when we get home from church. I serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. 


2 large onions, peeled and chopped
a few springs of thyme
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
oil for browning
2 pounds beef brisket cut into chunks
6 TBS flour well seasoned with salt and black pepper
240ml Guinness/stout (1 cup)
240ml Beef stock (1 cup) 
 


Heat the oil (about 1 TBS) in a skillet with a heavy bottom.  Toss the beef with the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess and then brown the beef on all sides in the hot oil. You want it to have a good colour so do it in batches if need be.  Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant.  Add the beef stock and bring to the boil, stirring up any browned bits.  Pour the whole mixture into a medium sized slow cooker. Add the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf.  Stir in the stout.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 6 hours, until the meat is tender and the gravy well flavoured. If need be you can thicken the gravy with a bit of flour shaken together with some cold water until smooth (about 1 TBS flour, and 120ml/1/2 cup water) pour this into the beef, give it a stir and cook on high for about 15 minutes until thickened.

Serve hot, spooned out onto a fluffy pile of mash with a vegetable on the side.


There has been a lot of talk about the undesirable look of "Brown" food in food photography. I don't know about you, but I see nothing undesirable about the looks of this at all. In fact it makes me hungry just seeing it.  Perhaps that's because I know how delicious it really is!  Bon Appetit!


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Marie Rayner
15 Comments
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15 comments:

  1. A real comfort meal! We've been so hot..I haven't made any slow cooker or braised meal..soon..it will be here soon and long enough;)

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    1. That's true. I took advantage of a 10 degree drop in temperature at the weekend. It was so nice to eat something besides salad. lol I do love salad, but sometimes I just want something comforting! xo

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  2. Hi Marie, I agree with you about your photography! The colors are true and vibrant, the pics make me want to dive into them and pick up a fork! Thanks for another great recipe, which, being made in the crackpot is fine for the summer months since it doesn't heat up your kitchen! How much would it affect the flavor of the dish if a regular beer (such as a Samuel Adams) were used instead of Stout? I'm not really familiar with Stout, can it be purchased as a single bottle? Thanks again, Mary

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    1. Thanks so much Mary! Over here you can buy stout (Guinness) by the can or bottle, without any need to buy a whole lot. I am not sure about over there. It has a lovely rich flavour that works well in stews like this. A recipe that calls for stout is using it for its deep, rich flavor, but in most cases you can substitute it out for another beer or a nonalcoholic alternative. I hope this helps! Let me know how you get on. I hope you enjoy this! xo

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    2. That was what I thought about the richness of the flavor of the Stout too, and guess what? Husband says that we can get Stout by the individual bottle here as well, so I can make this the correct way! Yeah! Thanks Marie for your prompt reply, as always, Mary

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  3. I also thought that this braised brisket would be great paired with your Potato, Egg & Green Bean Salad! What do you think? Take care, Mary

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    1. It would go great with rice, or noodles, or boiled potatoes, baked potatoes. I am not sure about the Potato, Egg & Green Bean Salad, perhaps there might be too many conflicting flavours! xo

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    2. I re-read the salad ingredients and agree, too much! I'll be serving this as you do, with the mashed potatoes and peas! Looking forward to it too!

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    3. You are in for a real treat Mary!

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  4. Lamb shanks do quite well in a slow cooker, too. Turns out lovely and tender.

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    1. That’s very true Jo. Any meats that are best braised work fabulously in the slow cooker! Xo

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I swear, WHERE do people come up with things like unappetizing if you're brown food! These people MUST have far too much time on their hands to sit around and think of ludicrous things like this. I am a TRUE beef lover, through and through. Pork is OK (maybe I have a bit of Jewishness in me somewhere along the thousands of years, who knows, but I've never been much of a pork person. It's just OK) And as for chicken, I think ever since I watched my one grandmother and my great aunt (sisters) kill chickens and process them on her farm when I was about 8 years old I haven't cared for it much. The smell of chicken cooking in a pot on the stove actually makes me wretch, still to this day. I'm 57 years old and I STILL have to ask my mother to cook any chicken I need. I've learned to roast in the oven if I need it. I really only like to eat wings if I'm eating on the bone. I eat chicken but I go for beef every time before I go for chicken. I think its because I had so much as a child. My parents butchered a beef every year and we lived on a lot of that. You have to feel sorry for vegans or vegetarians. I know where food comes from and I'm not crazy about how we get it, but I think its the way its suppose to be. I don't know what its like in the UK, but in places in the US, some in the state where I live, if hunters did take so many deer a year it would be downright cruel to watch tens of thousands starve to death. They're taking over, they are NOT suffering. DNR assigns a specific number each year that is responsible trimming of the numbers and allows hunters so many. You do NOT want to be caught with anything illegal. Speaking of which, THIS dish would be great is made with 50% venison. My mom made a STRICT rule when my brother began hunting, you shoot it, YOU eat it. He made squirrel pot pie and various things. My mom also learned early on the venison is MUCH more palatable if cooked with beef. To do a roast she'll put two in the roaster, one beef one venison. The same for ground. My brother then began having the butcher shop create packages of 50/50 venison and beef. It can be very delicious. This dish is PERFECT for venison/beef combination. Any dish with it needs strong flavors such as garlic and onions and lots of pepper. I may try that one day for my brother.

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    1. That's all very interesting Pam! Thank you for sharing. I am sure venison would be great in this. I hope you do try it! xo

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