Sunday dinner

As I look back at my childhood, Sunday dinners are especially memorable.  I should probably start with some background info.  I come from a long line of cooks.  They were not trained chefs mind you, but these women fed my family. The women in my family show their love through food.  This isn’t great for the waistline, but it’s wonderful for creating those warm fuzzies.  Although I have food memories of most holidays, Sunday dinners stick out the most.  My mother would usually prepare something that took all day to cook.  As the day progressed, the house would fill with the most delightful aromas. Whether it was roast beef or hearty Italian style meat sauce, we eagerly awaited the dinner bell.  These dinners brought so much comfort to me.

Now that I am married with a house of my own, I find myself trying to recreate those feelings.  I often spend considerable time combing through my grandmother’s and mother’s recipes.  Pinterest can also be useful in this endeavor.

Last week, my husband asked if I would make the brisket in our freezer for dinner on Sunday.  I had never cooked a brisket, nor do I remember my mother or grandmother preparing one.  Honestly, the only reason we even had a brisket is that we have started buying our beef in bulk.  I wanted to start eating all grass-fed, hormone free beef and now we get it one-half cow at a time.  Because of this, I am faced with unfamiliar cuts of beef. So, I fired up my laptop and started searching for recipes.  I really had no idea what I was doing.  The only kind of brisket I remember eating is the smoked kind you get at a barbecue joint.  We don’t have a smoker and we don’t have a charcoal grill.  After some frustration, I turned the job over to my husband.  He came across this recipe from Paula Deen.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/texas-oven-roasted-beef-brisket-recipe/index.html

Initially, I was not impressed by this recipe.  I did have all the ingredients on hand, so it became a winner in my book.

Here is what Paula’s brisket looked like.

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My first doubts about this recipe were quickly squashed.  It was exceptionally easy to put this together. And once it was in the oven, it required very little attention.  I made a few changes to the recipe after reading some of the user comments on the food network website.  I used a Lagunitas IPA to add to the beef broth instead of water and I added some liquid smoke.  The house quickly filled with lovely smells of roasting beef.  This brisket was the perfect dinner to replicate my memories.

Here is my version.

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It was delicious.  Although it tasted similar to a traditional pot roast, the dry rubbed crust made it distinctively different.  Finally, this recipe was great because it created wonderful leftover meals.  On Monday, I sautéed thin slices of the beef with chili powder, garlic, cumin, red pepper, onion powder, and paprika.  I served it fajita style with sautéed onions and red bell peppers.  Yum!  Later in the week, we had French dip sandwiches with provolone cheese.  The juices from the brisket made an excellent dipping sauce.  This brisket not only made a wonderful dinner, but made my life easier in the week to come.

All in all, it was just what I wanted for Sunday dinner.

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