}]; Noreen's Kitchen: 02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Low and Slow is the Key to Success! Tasty Slow Roasted Brisket Recipe! Noreen's Kitchen

Time to prepare for another in our bulk cooking series.  This time around I am using a beef brisket, slow roasting it to perfection and then see how many meals for four we can get out of it.  I have slow roasted brisket in a video many years ago.  Time for an upgrade!  Brisket can be intimidating to some people, simple because of the nature of the cut.  It is not forgiving and if done wrong, it can be be an awful experience.  There are a few tricks to doing it just right.  First off, low and slow is imperative, secondly, the way you slice this cut of meat is going to make all the difference in whether you have a melt in your mouth slice of beef or a chewy, stringy and tough piece.  Today I am going to show you the right way to achieve the perfect brisket!

I have around a 10 pound brisket, with a trimmed fat cap.  You want to make sure your cut is trimmed well.  Some brisket can come with a very fatty layer, which can be unappealing after it is cooked.  You don't want the fat to be trimmed away completely, because the fat helps to flavor the meat and keep it moist and delicious.  You can always discard it when serving.  Over all, I like to leave about a half inch if it is not already trimmed well.

Like my Calphalon roasting pan?  Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2kKzb1Q

Next is the seasoning and aromatics.  I have created a "rack" of vegetables to place the brisket upon.  Carrots and celery are great for this.  I also thick cut a yellow onion and scattered it around the roast.  For seasoning, I have generously spread some of my homemade dry onion soup mix.  If you would like to see how I made that, check out my video here:  http://bit.ly/2kQoLRo

I also added some bay leaves and crushed rosemary to the seasoning as well.  I added about 3 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan, then covered the roast with parchment and a double layer of foil.  The brisket was roasted in a 300 degree oven for 7.5 hours then allowed to rest for an additional 2 hours before slicing.  Allowing the brisket to rest for a long period is going to be helpful when slicing.  

To slice a brisket properly you will want to ascertain the grain of the meat.  Slicing straight across the meat is not the way to go.  You want to slice against the grain.  To do this you will want to slice diagonally from the narrow end of the brisket to the wide end.  This will help you to know that you will get nice short, tender, melt in your mouth pieces of meat instead of long stringy inedible pieces.

This brisket is a delicious treat.  It does cook down a bit so in the end, I would guess that we have about 7 pounds of edible meat.  We enjoyed our brisket the first night with mashed potatoes, gravy made with some of the drippings and steamed veggies.  We will be sharing other options to use the leftovers.  This makes for great budget cooking and freezer banking for nights when a long cooking process is out of the question.  

The leftover meat from a  tasty brisket is great for bbq beef sandwiches, taquito filling, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, hot beef open faced sandwiches, Chicago style beef sandwiches, beef pot pie, beef and barley soup and so much more!  You can even make a red flannel, roast beef hash with these leftovers and it will be amazing!  Stay tuned to see what I come up with!  I am confident we will be able to get 4 to 6 meals out of this roast.    Not as many as we did from the chicken, but a good number nonetheless.

I hope you give slow roasting a brisket a try and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:

You can find a printable version of this recipe on my website here: http://bit.ly/2kyEuAT

Noreen's Kitchen
Slow Roasted Beef Brisket

1 whole beef brisket 8 to 10 pounds
4 carrots roughly cut
4 stalks of celery roughly cut
1 large onion, thickly sliced
½ cup dry onion soup mix
1 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
4 bay leaves
4 cups water

Step by Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place celery and carrots in the bottom of a deep roasting pan.

Place brisket, fat cup up, on top of the carrots and celery.

Arrange onion slices around the brisket.

Sprinkle onion soup mix generously over the top of the brisket.  Sprinkle rosemary and bay leaves on top as well.

Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Cover with parchment if desired then double seal the pan with aluminum foil.

Roast for a minimum of 6 hours and check to see if the brisket is done.  If not return it to the oven for an addition hour to hour and a half. 

When brisket is tender all the way through a the thickest part of the meat, remove from oven and allow to rest for two hours before slicing.

When slicing the brisket, you will want to use a sharp carving knife and slice diagonally across the grain of the meat.  When you look at your slice it should not have long strings of meat running horizontally. It should have a short grain that runs vertically across the slice.  Slicing diagonally will achieve this.  Start at the narrow end of the brisket and slice your way back toward the wider end diagonally.  This will give you the perfect, tender, melt in your mouth experience you are going for.

Leftover brisket should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no longer than ten days.  It can also be frozen in sealed containers or zip top freezer bags for later use.


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Sweets for your Sweetheart! Cupid's Valentine Bark Recipe!

One last fun Valentine treat idea before tomorrow!  Here is some delicious and simple, Cupid's Valentine bark! You can throw this together tonight and have it read to enjoy, serve or share tomorrow!  If you are able to take homemade treats this would be a great idea for a class party or even a church event.  Sweet and stunning, this bark is delicious and super pretty!  Perfect for your Valentine or sweetheart and kids will love getting in the kitchen with you to help make this super simple treat!

Just like any other "bark" this one starts with white chocolate chips.  I have also used candy melts in red and pink.  Get those melted in the microwave on thirty second bursts, stirring after each until you have smooth and creamy melty goodness!   I like to add about a tablespoon of coconut oil when I use baking chips to help encourage the melting process and help it to be nice and smooth.  Sometimes those baking chips can have emulsifiers and additives that preclude proper melting, but a bit of coconut oil, or if you don't have that, some shortening will work as well.  

Prepare a baking sheet.  I like to use non stick foil then spray that with some cooking oil spray.  I prefer coconut oil spray but whatever you have will work great.  Pour the white chocolate onto the sheet and spread evenly, but not too thin.  You don't have to worry about covering the whole pan.  Just make a nice even layer.  Then take the two colored chocolates and drizzle how ever you like.  Let your inner Jackson Pollak out and see what happens.  Then I took a coffee stir stick and ran it through up and down then back and forth.  Just to give it that pretty, draggy look that you see in professional candies.  Make it look nice and swirly.  But don't swirl too much or you will end up with a muddy mess.

Now for the fun part!  I found some pretty little pink, heart shaped marshmallows that I tossed on the melted chocolate.  Then I added some pretty candy sixlet pearls in pink, blue, white and black.   Toss those into the chocolate with some force to embed them in the chocolate so they will set in there and not fall off when you break this up.  Then I sprinkled a generous amount of red and white sugar and red, pink and white pearl nonparels, along with some little candy "x's and o's".  Such a fun and festive look!  I popped this pan in the fridge for about an hour to set.

Breaking up the bark is easy, but since we have added the pretty marshmallows, I want to be careful to have full pieces  that don't pull those apart.  Break this up the best you can for pretty shards of deliciousness!  I packaged mine up in some pretty paper boats then wrapped them in cello bags.  I got those kits at the big box store I also put a few pieces in cupcake papers for fun.  This would be a great idea for serving at a party or at a school or church function.  

I hope you give this Cupid's Valentine bark a try and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating and Happy Valentines Day!

You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:

A Printable version of this recipe is available on my website:  

Noreen's Kitchen
Cupid’s Valentine Bark


4 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup red candy melts
1 cup pink candy melts

Colorful mini marshmallows (heart shaped)
Assorted sprinkles
Coated chocolate candies/pearls

Step by Step Instructions

Place the white chocolate chips in a large, microwave safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave on high in 30 second bursts, stirring after each until the chocolate is smooth, creamy and free from lumps.

Melt the candy melts in microwave safe containers, I put mine in pint mason jars.  Melt on 30 second bursts, stirring after each until the candy is smooth, creamy and free from lumps.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil (I like the non stick type) and spraying it well with cooking oil spray.

Pour the white chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread out in an even layer.  Don’t worry too much about covering the entire surface of the pan, that may be too thin. 

When the white chocolate is spread, take the colored candy melts and drizzle haphazardly over the white chocolate.  Let your inner Jackson Pollak out to play.  Just drizzle away with one color then move on to the next. 

When you have done drizzling, take a skewer, a coffee stirrer or a butter knife and drag it gently through the chocolate in one direction up and down then the other.  So the swirls become pulled and beautiful.  Be sure not to swirl too much because that will muddy the colors.

Now you can top your bark with marshmallows, sprinkles and chocolate coated candies to your heart’s content. 

When you are done decorating, place the sheet pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the bark to set completely.

When the bark is set, break into beautiful shards and package in pretty bags to give away to your sweethearts!

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