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Friday, November 13, 2009

Wasabi Brisket: So good you'll want to slap yourself

This recipe is somewhat adapted from an award winning recipe originally published in the Chicago Tribune. In general I like to publish original recipes on this site, but the Wasabi Brisket is such a stunning example of some of the basic Skinny Gourmet principles, it had to be included. This tender meat is so unbelievably flavorful that a small serving is very satisfying. Better still, it makes for an outstanding salad for the next day's lunch. You can also wrap the brisket, lettuce and mandarin oranges in a soft pita wrap for a slightly more filling presentation. This dish is a favorite of entertaining in our home. We now have out of town guests who request this dish in advance when they come to visit us.

An Asian take on barbecued brisket, this recipe was developed in the test kitchen and accompanied a story about wasabi, written by food and wine reporter Bill Daley. The brisket can be cooked a day ahead, then finished with the sauce an hour before serving. It also freezes extraordinarily well, so I tend to freeze leftovers in portion serving sizes to pop out for easy lunches or dinners. Wasabi powder and paste are sold in Asian and spice markets, and some larger supermarkets.

Are you publishing someone else's recipe?
As a general rule all the recipes on this site are my original recipes. I have tried to find the original Chicago Tribune recipe to link to online without luck. I even tried contacting the Chicago Tribune food section. Nothing. My mother-in-law advises that food test kitchens work on the rule of three: if you have significantly changed three elements of the recipe you can call it your own. So here I present my adaptations to the original recipe, with as much credit as I can give.



2 tablespoons each: Chinese 5-spice powder, brown sugar, ground cumin, sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
1 piece (3 inches long) ginger root, finely minced or grated
1 tablespoon wasabi powder,
2 teaspoons coarsely cracked tricolor peppercorns
1 teaspoon each: ground cardamom, ground coriander
1 beef brisket, first cut, trimmed, about 4-6 pounds


1-2 cups homemade beef broth or stock, divided
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons each: Thai sweet red chili sauce, wasabi powder, brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Combine dry rub ingredients. Trim brisket of fat layer. Place brisket in a glass (or non-reactive) 13 x 9 inch pan. Massage dry rub into the brisket on all sides to form a thick crust. Cover with foil and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove meat from refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature (approximately 30 minutes). Place brisket in slowcooker. You may need to cut into two large pieces to ensure a better fit into your slowcooker.

Whisk together soy sauce, red chili sauce, wasabi powder, brown sugar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper, and 1 cup of stock. Pour sauce over the brisket. If needed, add up to one more cup of stock to more completely emerge the brisket in the cooking liquid.

Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or until fork tender (with any luck at all, it will almost be spoon-tender).

I like to serve this very flavorful meat dish with plain boiled redskin potatoes, or grilled planks of russet potatoes. It really needs a simple accompaniment. For a side I think the sour greens from the Inn at Little Washington cookbook is ideal. Garnish with diagonally cut fresh green onions.

The Slowcooker? In our house we are head over heels for slowcooking meat. Slowcookers are enjoying a real renaissance right now, and for good reasons. Nothing makes meat more tender than cooking it for hours on low heat. My husband made this dish three or four times using conventional oven roasting and was never satisfied. It became his meat-nemisis. But if you want to cook in the oven, here are the original Journal oven directions: "Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook brisket in oven 1 hour. Reduce heat to 275 degrees; bake until just tender, 4- 4 1/2 hours. Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes...Slice, add sauce, and cook until fork tender, 45 minutes-1 hour."

Nutrition information per serving:

299 calories, 40% of calories from fat, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 89 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, 1,553 mg sodium, 1 g fiber


Laura said...

I wonder why the oven instructions call for starting at 350, which is pretty high by my standards? I LOVE braised meats and only do them in the oven. This is going on to the to try list immediately--I will have to report back how it turns out being done in the oven! :)

dresser said...

I love briskets. I have always been wondering on how to do them perfectly.

Veggies 'n' Cake said...

Sounds great. Will have to have the husband cook this up for me :)

Groupo said...

Sounds yummy!! I will try this dish on the new year day celebrations party going to be held at my place.

Kelsey said...

Holy moly - just made this. Wow. I don't think I can wait till the company gets here... Thanks for a fabulous recipe! Just found your blog and think I'm going to have to make everything. =)

Erin said...

@Kelsey: I'm so glad you love it as much as we do! I'm drooling just thinking of it. Rich, delicious, flavorful, easy...mmmmm

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