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.