Sous Vide Brisket

A cheap, tough piece of meat – brisket requires a nice slow cook to allow that toughness to give way to beautifully moist, fall apart meat. Cooking in the Sousvide Supreme allows you to cook the brisket for a couple of days at a low temperature – 56.5c. What to serve it with? Earthy flavours were the direction I took – a beef and mushroom sauce to coat the meat. Cannellini purée to add a nice nuttiness. Earthy beetroot with a slightly sweet twang and wonderfully sweet parsnip crisps to add a nice texture to the dish.

Here’s what you’ll need

For the beef

  • 1 piece of brisket – buy more than you think you need – it makes amazing leftovers
  • Salt & black pepper.

For the Cannellini purée

  • 2 cans of cannellini beans (canned beans are fine for purées like this)
  • Enough stock (either chicken or vegetable) to cover the beans with 1cm of liquid
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter.

For the Beef & Mushroom sauce

  • 5 shallots – finely chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 large glass red wine
  • 1 pint beef stock (make your own or use one of those gel/pot things you can buy)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain white flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter.

For the Sweet Baked Beetroot

  • 4 beetroots – cut into quarters
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.

For the Parsnip Crisps

  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt.

Heat your waterbath to 56.5c. Vacuum seal the meat and cook for 2 days.

To make the sauce – heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the shallots. Once softened, add the mushroom and cook for a minute or so more over a gentle heat. Add the wine and allow to reduce for 3-4 minutes. Now add the beef stock, the bay and the thyme. Simmer gently uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the sauce into a clean pan and reduce further for 15 minutes. Mix the butter and flour into a paste and add to the sauce. Allow the butter to melt into the sauce. Season the sauce to taste.

For the beetroot – Preheat your oven to 180c. Mix the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar and oil together and pour over the beetroot quarters in a tray. Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Keep an eye on them – turn them over occasionally making sure they’re well coated in the sauce.

For the Cannellini Purée – Boil the beans and garlic in the stock until tender. Strain the beans but reserve the cooking stock in a separate pan. Using a handheld food processor, blitz the beans. As you blend them, gradually add the reserved cooking stock until the beans form a smooth purée but not overly wet – it should retain a little structure and stiffness. Finish with butter, salt and pepper.

For the Parsnip Crisps – heat a pan of oil to 180c. Using a vegetable peeler shred the parsnip into long ribbons. Add the parsnip in batches to the oil. It will cook in about 1 minute. Keep an eye on it – they should just be starting to turn golden. Take them out and allow to drain. Sprinkle with salt.

To finish – remove the meat from the vacuum bag. Tear the meat into chunks and dip into the sauce making sure each chunk is fully coated in the sauce. Arrange the meat on the purée with the  crisps and beetroot on the side.

I’m really pleased with this dish – everything has purpose, everything makes sense. And – in the centre of it all you have incredible Sous Vide brisket.

I think a dish like this really showcases how economical the SousVide Supreme can be – brisket is incredibly cheap and cooking it this way ensures you have amazing meat that looses none of its moistness and flavour.

 

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By John Loydall

12 Comments

  • Karen Harris says:

    I love brisket. Last Christmas I bought my husband an electric smoker, something that this Texas girl thought blasphemous for most of my life until I tried it. We now slow smoke briskets whenever we get a chance. I would love to try a Sousvide brisket sometime. Yours looks mouthwatering.

    • John L says:

      Love the idea of a smoker. Brisket is such an economical cut – we paid about £7 for a large piece and it easily fed 4 of us with plenty of leftovers.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • Simon says:

      Hi Karen,

      I’m struggling with Christmas gift ideas for my life partner and wondered if you had anything you could recommend?

      The electric smoker sounds good, I think he’d like one of those? Like me he is vegetarian so is the smoker good for fruit, winter veg or tofu?

      John, would be great to have some tips for a vegetarian Christmas dinner. Last year we had a traditional turkey dinner but with no turkey. Thinking about maybe having a beef dinner this year but with no beef?

      Best,

      Simon.

      • John L says:

        Hi Simon – interested to know what the difference between a dish with no beef and a dish with no turkey is? 😉

        Joking aside – don’t you think the veg is often the best bit about a Christmas dinner? All those roast veg.. Great.

        You’re missing out on potatoes cooked in goose fat or beef dripping though..

        • Simon says:

          Hi John,

          The beef less dish differs to the turkey less dish in terms of the accompanying food. For a beef less beef dinner I get a Yorkshire pudding, for the turkey version, it’s more the parsnips and cranberry that makes the difference. With turkey I also get a meat free sausage wrapped in vegetarian bacon.

          The veg is great, I agree. The best bit. I don’t really eat potatoes so don’t feel I’m missing out there.

          Looking to do something interesting with mushrooms this year. It’s looking like its just me and Tim as our family is busy so we want to make a great feast. Any tips would be great.

          Best,

          Simon.

  • Stef says:

    Looks absolutely fabulous; great variety of textures too.

    • John L says:

      Thanks – it was quite a nice staggered meal to cook so I could concentrate on each component individually. No rushing at the end which was nice!

  • Simon says:

    Hi John,

    Great colours in this dish. Looks lovely but I can’t eat meat. Going to try with tofu instead of brisket, do you think it’ll work? Also I don’t drink red wine so substituting with red grape juice and a cranberry compote.

    Will take some photos and send them over.

    Look forward to the next dish, remember to try some veg dishes please.

    Simon.

    • John L says:

      Simon – you’re kind of into a different dish there! I think the purpose of this dish is to showcase what cooking sous vide can do for a tough, cheap of meat. Having said that – there’s nothing stopping you cooking the rest of the dish and using tofu if you want to.

    • John L says:

      And – in reference to cooking more non-meat dishes, I tend to post mostly at weekends when meat is on the menu. I’ll try to post a few more mid-week dishes that are often non-meat based dishes.

  • This was just the information I was looking for, great resource. Bookmarked.

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