Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Dinner

There are quite a few recipes in the Crock-Pot Incredibly Easy Recipes cookbook that call for beef brisket.  Now, some of these recipes that I've made in the past I've just substituted some other cut of beef, because brisket is just so expensive.  However, the place to get beef brisket, I discovered, is Costco, where I found a piece for only $11.45, half of what I've ever seen in a grocery store.  I purchased this before I decided what to make with it and ultimately decided to go with the "Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Dinner" because, even though the picture didn't look all that interesting, I thought that it would be a good "complete meal in one pot" deal.

Apologies in advance, however.  I made this on October 20 and I completely forgot to take pictures as I was doing prep.  I was smart, however, and chopped all of the vegetables in advance: potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery.  This recipe is super easy.  You just throw everything in the crock pot, that is, the brisket cut in half, the vegetables mentioned above, sliced mushrooms, crushed garlic, and seasonings.  In terms of seasonings, this recipe calls for beef bouillon, black peppercorns, and bay leaves.  We didn't have any whole peppercorns, so instead I substituted an equal amount of ground pepper.  Finally, you cover the entire thing in water and cook it on low for 6-8 hours.

This is what it looks like when done cooking.

The issue I had in this case was that the brisket, which was about 4 lbs (which is what the recipe calls for!), plus all the vegetables, did not fit in the crock pot.  Honestly, I have no idea what size crock pot they were using when they made this recipe, because it would need to be at least twice the size of mine!  I ended up making it in two batches.

The last step is to season the brisket with salt and pepper, and cut it.  The image on the left is of what the food actually looked like when I served it.

The image on the right is what it's supposed to look like according to the cookbook.  As you can see, the vegetables end up looking more bland than they are in the image.

So, unfortunately, I cannot evaluate this meal in terms of calories or cost.  It was an okay meal, but really it was just that: okay.  The meat was kind of bland.  The vegetables absorbed much more of the seasoning so I liked them more, but when it came down to leftovers, I wasn't as thrilled by them.  Ultimately, I had it a few more times, but then kept making something else for dinner because I didn't want to eat the leftovers... until the food ultimately went bad and I threw it out.

I wrote in my cookbook that it was "bland and boring when first served, but horrible as leftovers" and noted "don't make again."

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