Serving any kind of Beef joint these days is more of a luxury than a regular thing. People try to keep costs down by braising or slow roasting a cheaper cut of beef such as Brisket. At the moment in 2015 if you shop around you can buy Brisket for £8.00 a kilo and a 1.5 kilo piece should serve 6 people for a £12.
Porcini can add a touch of real class to this otherwise modest dish and if you like mushrooms but have never tried them I urge you to. Most supermarkets these days will sell them dried, unless you are lucky enough to live next to a great food market. For those unfamiliar with porcini (also called ceps by the French) I have a photo at the bottom of the post that shows them straight out of the forest.
1.5 kilo (2.5 lb Beef Brisket
225 ml Beef Stock
1 medium onion-chopped
2 roughly chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic
125ml (4floz) red wine
2 dessertspoon Olive oil
50 grams Butter
25 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
15grams (1/2oz) Dried porcini mushrooms
2 large flat mushrooms sliced
*You will need a 4 pint ovenproof casserole dish with lid.
Preheat the oven 140 C gas mark 1 (275 F).
- Heat a large 28cm-30cm frying pan, add one dessertspoon of Olive oil and when the pan is very hot brown the beef off on all sides.
- Remove the beef and place into the casserole dish then add the vegetables and garlic to the hot frying pan, cooking on a high heat and stirring occasionally.
- When the vegetables are brown add them to the casserole dish and deglaze the frying with the beef stock to ensure you get every last little bit of flavour left from browning the beef.
- Pour the hot stock over the beef and vegetables and add the red wine.
- Place the lid on the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 3 hours.
- Meanwhile soak the dried mushrooms in 75 ml of boiling water.
- Using the same frying pan you browned the meat fry off the sliced flat mushrooms in 1 dessertspoon of olive oil and 25gram of butter until they are brown then reserve.
- Melt the remaining 25g butter in the frying pan and add the flour to make a roux, stirring to prevent it from burning.
- Turn the heat down and continue to stir and cook for a further 4-5 minutes then remove from the heat.
- When the beef is cooked removed from the stock a cover with foil to keep warm and rest.
- Place the frying pan with the roux back on a moderate heat and gradually strain the beef stock a little at a time (to begin with) whilst stirring briskly to avoid lumps.
- When the stock is fully incorporated, turn the heat down and add the porcini soaking liquor. Then chop up the now soft reconstituted wild mushrooms into even sized pieces and add to the sauce.
- Add the flat mushrooms you reserved and the Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer until you have a nice sauce consistency and turn off the heat.
Slice the Beef thinly and serve on warm plates with mashed potatoes and spinach.
Cooking the brisket on a lower temperature helps to makes the meat more tender and cuts down on shrinkage.
Browning the beef beforehand not only gives a pleasing appearance but also seals in the juices.