Thursday, January 27, 2011

Brisket with Mushrooms

Let me preface this post with: I am allergic to mushrooms.

But this recipe sounded so good that I had to make it.  And indeed it was.  I got this recipe out of my Good Housekeeping Cookbook (GHK) that I got a few years ago.  I have to say, if you want to start cooking, this is the book to get.  There are so many books out there it is really difficult to choose which one to get.  When you go to the cooking section at Barnes and Noble there are stacks and stacks of cookbooks for all types of cuisine.  I love looking in the cooking section, but I become overwhelmed by the shear amount of cooking literature that sits in front of me and leave before I can get sucked into buying a book all about bread that I think I need and must have but really don't.   I have a couple of staples that it seems like everyone has either heard of or owns, but I really like GHK's cookbook the best for getting me motivated.

I like it because it has pictures, but not too many pictures.  When I first started cooking the big books that had tons of information intimidated me.  Mark Bitman's How To Cook Everything is chalk full of good recipes, techniques, and tips, but the lack of photographs discouraged me because I couldn't picture what the meal would look like just by reading the recipe.  Joy of Cooking and even Mastering the Art of French Cooking is like that too.  All are staples of the cookbook world, in my opinion.   GHK has all of these great qualities, but it also has a fair amount of color photos on nice, glossy paper.  For the beginner, this is what you need.  I have come across and own plenty of books that seem like they are full of all pictures and no recipes.  At first I really liked them because each recipe came with it's own picture, but as I became more familiar with cooking, I wanted more recipes for my buck.  GHK was a good stepping stone for this.  It has plenty of recipes and as I said before, provides some pictures, but they don't over do it.  Now, since I cook more, I can look at Joy and MAFC's pictureless pages and imagine what my dish will look like.  I do believe that I have promoted GHK before, but it deserves it.  The best part?  The food is always delicious.

About the recipe

The book didn't lie.  It said that it takes an hour and a half to prepare and it was right.  Preparation wasn't difficult, but it was tedious.  Chopping onions and cleaning mushrooms, though not hard, takes more time than you would think.  I figured since I do this kind of stuff all the time it wouldn't really take that long.  It did.  I also had to cut the brisket into thirds because it was way to big for my pot, which is an 8-qt dutch oven.  It's not exactly a small pot, but I got the brisket from Costco so there was no way I was going to get that puppy to fit as one piece.

Before cooking

I used regular white button mushrooms cut into 8ths, shitake in strips, and baby portobellos whole.  I liked the idea of using different shapes to add some texture to the meal.

After braising in the oven for two and a half hours

Brisket over mushrooms

Roasted red potatoes with garlic and rosemary

Garlic green beans

I know that we always make these oven roasted potatoes and garlic green beans, but I wanted to put the pictures up because they were just so good.  The green beans are our go-to vegetable recipe.  They're so quick and easy.  In total, this meal took about five hours to make from start to the time we sat down to eat.  It's a good thing I work at home and that my boss doesn't read my blog.  Heheh.

Dun-da-da-dah!  The whole  shebang 

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