6 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 beef brisket, 2-1/2 to 3 lb., trimmed and generously sprinkled with black pepper
4 teaspoons Frank Davis Beef Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
6-8 carrots cut into chunks
1 cup celery, finely chopped
8 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup parsley, minced
2 whole sprigs thyme
6-8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 can concentrated beef stock (14 oz. size)
1 bottle real beer, 12-ounce (not light brew)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons red wine or tarragon vinegar
1/2 small can tomato paste
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons horseradish (optional)
4 tablespoons Creole mustard (optional)
6 cups buttered broad egg noodles, cooked al dente
First thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Then, in a large black cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat, crisp up the bacon in the olive oil. When it’s cooked, remove it from the pot but leave in the drippings. Then turn up the heat to medium-high, season the meat with the beef seasoning and cumin, and brown it on all sides in those drippings (figure this will take you about 6 minutes or so). Then when the brisket has been beautifully “seared,” remove it from the pot and set it aside on a platter for a while.
Next, deglaze the Dutch oven with the onions, green onions, carrots, celery, and garlic—these should cook about 3 to 5 minutes, being the abrasive that loosens all the brisket debris from the bottom of the pot. When that’s been done, drop in the parsley, thyme, basil leaves, bay leaves, and peppercorns and return to the pot the beef (along with whatever residual drippings leaked out while it was resting on the platter).
Now this is where the actual magic takes place!
At this point, add to the Dutch oven the stock and the beer and bring the combination to a boil. Then tightly cover the pot, slide it into the oven on the center rack, and braise the brisket for about 1-1/2 hours. When that’s happened, turn the brisket over and braise the opposite side for an additional 1-1/2 hours or until it becomes “fork tender.”
Now for the coup de grace!
Remove the brisket from the pot but keep it warm. Then strain the broth into a heavy saucepan, discarding the solids, and bring it to a boil while whisking in at the same time the Worcestershire Sauce, the vinegar, and the tomato paste. Then while the pan gravy comes up to heat, take a dinner fork and a small cereal bowl and cream together the flour and the softened butter to create what’s called a “beurre manie” (which translates as “kneaded butter”).
Finally, begin whisking into the gravy the beurre manie, ideally a teaspoon at a time, until the pan gravy thickens and looks shiny and glossy. It is finished and ready to serve over both the brisket and the noodles after it has simmered for about 5 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: You may or may not have to use all the beurre manie, but under no circumstances should you skip this step—the resulting flavor is indescribably delicious!
Variation: Thinly slice the brisket and eat it wrapped in fresh flour tortillas, garnished with sour cream and a pinch of minced cilantro. Ummm! Oh, yeah—chill the rest of the six pack!
To make a succulent, spicy topping for the meat, in a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream, the horseradish, and the Creole mustard. Then take the warm brisket and slice it for service and spread the creamed horseradish sauce over the slices as desired.
As an entrée, serve the brisket piping hot over a bed of noodles along with a cold, crispy, vinaigrette-dressed Romaine salad.