My cycling buddy James Lawlor, of the Rathmines butchery of the same name, was wondering if I could come up with any half interesting recipes for brisket (We tend to talk of little else except food when we are out in the mountains). It tends to be a tough enough cut so, it tends to be inexpensive. The dual attraction of tough beef and low price made it an ideal candidate for an experiment in the sous vide bath.
One of the things that annoys me is how the sous vide vacuum machine sucks any liquids (particularly nice red wine) out of the bag and makes a big mess. “First world problem”, you blurt. Yes, it is. But, I was delighted to find a first world solution to to the problem. I had decided that I was going to prepare pepper and red wine brisket sous vide. My solution to the wine being sucked from the bag was to freeze the wine first.
I gave the brisket a heavy peppering (with pepper) and placed it in the vacuum bag.
I then added the wine and sealed the deal.
Hence the name, ‘Dragon’s Back’ Beef Brisket. Next, I popped it into a 56ºC water bath for 24 hours. I then removed it from the bag (reserving the juices), patted it dry and seasoned with sea salt. I finished it off on the barbecue (quickly on high heat to avoid drying it out).
All that was left to do was to carve it and serve it to my appreciative diners.
The brisket is tricky to cut as one needs to go against the grain. One ends up with long thin slices of deliciousness. I served it with a big salad, bread and a reduction made from the reserved bag juices. These need to be heated, strained and reduced. One ends up with a most amazingly flavoursome sauce.
The sauce combines the two main ingredients – the beef and the Arelius Saint-Emilion Grand Cru so it would be churlish to not enjoy a glass of same along with the meal. Give this one a go in your sous vide. They’ll be draggin’ you back for more…