CEiMB #4: [Sweet & Sour Brisket]

October 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm 8 comments

Hello my name is procrastination. I try to be on time but I am just not that person. I am always fashionably late. I don’t do it on purpose. It just happens. And it bugs the crap out of my husband. Mr. On-Time-All-The-Time.

So… apologies to this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly host, Natalie from Whats for Supper, about my tardiness. Although technically its barely 9pm in CA so I am actually on time. Yup. Thats justification for ya.

Ok first things first. I am pretty meticulous about having everything I need for whatever I am cooking that week. I pride myself on never having to make a quick run to the grocery store b/c I forgot something. I hate that. Its enough to make me not wanna cook if I forget something. Imagine my look of horror when I opened my pantry to find apple cider vinegar and see white vinegar, red white vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar but no FREAKING apple cider vinegar. This can’t be happening… ::shaking head in disgust::

I never knew there were so many vinegar options and of course the one I need isn’t there. UGH. Since I wasn’t in the mood to give up my parking space to go to the grocery store for a stupid bottle of vinegar I started thinking that most wine connoisseurs drink red wine with red meat right? April, tell me I am right, please…? So I decided to just go with the red wine vinegar and hope for the best.

Funny thing about brisket. I am pretty sure I’ve never eaten it before. You’d think being a former Texan that I should have but I moved when I was 5 years old and I doubt that its in a 5 year old diet. Unless maybe you’re a true Texan? HAHA

Since I’ve never eaten brisket, I know my brow was furrowed in confusion staring at the deli counter looking at the tiny labels. (Could they make those labels any tinier?) Thats when a nice butcher man took pity on me and asked me if he could help and he actually said “… b/c you look lost.” LOL. After he pointed me in the right brisket direction and told me that I’d love brisket, I went home feeling more worldly, now that I knew what brisket was. (Pssst. Its cow boob.) I am sure you can sense it too… in my writing. Am I right? I thought so.

Sweet and Sour Brisket
(Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s Foods You Crave page 186 | photos from me!)

Makes 10 servings
Serving size: 4-ounces brisket plus 3 tablespoons of sauce

* Nutritional Analysis—
Calories 360; Total fat 12g; Saturated fat 4g; Monounsaturated fat 6g; Polyunsaturated fat 1g; Protein 46g; Carbohydrates 14g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 94mg; Sodium 330mg


One 3-pound beef brisket, first-cut or flat-half cut, trimmed of any excess fat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce, preferably no-salt-added
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water (I used water)
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/3 cup raisins (I substituted with craisins)
5 black peppercorns (I omitted)
1 allspice berry**


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Pat the brisket dry and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or braising pot. Sear the brisket until it is browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and cook the onion, stirring a few times, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the vinegar, the raisins, peppercorns and allspice and stir to combine well. Bring the mixture to a boil, return the brisket and any accumulated juices to the pot, spoon some of the tomato-vinegar mixture over the brisket, cover tightly, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the brisket is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

[NOTES: I don’t have a dutch oven (its on the xmas list!) so I seared the brisket, cooked the onion and garlic and made the sauce per instructions in a saucepan, spooned about 1/2 into my crockpot, put the brisket in next and then spooned the rest of the sauce over the brisket and cooked on high for 3 hours. Thanks Beth for the suggestion!]

Remove the brisket from the oven, transfer the meat to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes or, if serving later, cover and refrigerate the meat and sauce for several hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve, cut the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar into the warm sauce. Return the slice brisket to the sauce until heated through, then serve.

(I served with garlic mashed potatoes and parmesan asparagus.)


Husband rating: A+
He walked into our home and said “I can smell that down the hall. Gimme some!” While he was eating, he raved the whole time. Loved the sweet and sour flavors and asked for all leftovers for his lunch tomorrow. I have a feeling this is going on the regular rotation. HAHA

Wifey rating: A/A+
The house smelled so good and my tummy was growling as it cooked. When it was time to eat Ellie didn’t let me down. It was so yummy. I am glad I decided to cook the whole brisket b/c we barely had any leftovers. It was THAT good.

Next week: Turkey Roulade w/ Apple Cider Gravy pages 220-221

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.
** One teaspoon ground allspice is equivalent to approximate 5 whole berries. If you need a substitute for allspice combine equal parts of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. (Source: Gourmet Sleuth)

Entry filed under: Craving Ellie in my Belly. Tags: .

CEiMB #4: Islack Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Natalie  |  October 30, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I am glad that you like it. No apologies necessary, I am always late for everything…especially since we have had kids. My husband too said that he too could smell it from outside in the driveway the day I was cooking it as well.

  • 2. beth  |  October 31, 2008 at 6:05 am

    Looks great! I’m glad the slow cooker worked out :)

  • 3. Julie  |  October 31, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Looks very yummy! :)

  • 4. CB  |  October 31, 2008 at 6:23 am

    NATALIE, Good pick this week! I was really surprised at how much I liked this one. Never would have made it if you hadn’t picked it.

    BETH, You are a life saver! Worked out awesome in my slow cooker.

    JULIE, Oh trust me… it was! ;)

  • 5. Mary Ann  |  October 31, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I am joining in with ya’ll next week. Looks good! I just got my book in the mail a couple days ago.
    I also wanted to ask you or let you know that I am going to be using the Cooking Light Night thingie, if that is okay with you? I just thought it was a great idea and I noticed in your post you wanted to be aware of when people were using it. Do you mind? I can’t wait to try those pumpkin enchiladas- I am going to make them this weekend.

  • 6. CB  |  October 31, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    MARYANN, Awesome! Love to have you as part of CEiMB! Thanks for letting me know about my CL logo. Please feel free to use it! I’ve been a CL slacker lately. I promise I’ll be better…

  • 7. Audrey  |  November 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Can I trade you some of my Cooking Light Night pasta for some of your brisket?


  • 8. CB  |  November 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    AUDREY, Deal! HAHA


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