We had some friends over for an early Independence Day celebration and once again I was gobsmacked by something the mister said! He used to save his special words for working in the yard, or if he injured himself, or if I did something that he deemed stupid...he has quite a list of adjectives; then he branched out and began letting the family hear whatever sprang from his lips, especially while driving, and now it seems no one is safe! In front of our guests and their TWO DAUGHTERS, the mister let loose with some choice words...in front of KIDS! I long ago resigned myself to the fact that I could not take him just anywhere...churches, libraries and meditation gardens have been off limits for quite some time (he would only be caught dead in a meditation garden but I had to include them just in case) ...but now, apparently, inviting unsuspecting and innocent children into our home is something I must police and restrict!! The girls laughed - I'm sure they've seen grumpy old men portrayed on TV so seeing one in person was funny! The girl's parents laughed, too, kind of a hysterical laughter as if to say, "OH MY HECK DID YOU REALLY JUST SAY THAT!?!?!?!" The mister was punished and has been ordered to take a vow of silence around everyone living or dead.
No vows of silence would have stopped the raves this brisket received! My mom gave me this recipe, said it was excellent...but when I read the list of ingredients I had my doubts...smoked paprika, Heinz 57 steak sauce, 1/2 cup of liquid smoke?!? I should know by now that when mom says it's good, it's good...and it was! When the brisket was done, after 8 hours of baking, Caesar Beezer The Wonder Dog was delirious from circling the kitchen in anticipation, and so was I. I unwrapped the brisket and pulled off a little piece...and then it hit me...the spice...the heat...the sudden realization that no one will eat the brisket because it was TOO SPICY!!! Six pounds of meat that no one would eat leaving me in defeat...it was more than a bad rhyme...with 15 minutes till "show" time I thought all was ruined - especially since I had foodies coming to dine! But shut the front door! When the smoke cleared from my head, I gave it another taste...and then another and another...turns out my first bite happened to be a piece of the brisket that was saturated in the rub...the following bites were one glorious beef fest from beginning to end! Succulent, juicy, and immensely satisfying...that's all I can say...except for this...this brisket reaffirmed why I can never be a vegetarian...it was like meat chocolate...so good that I kept eating it even when I was full and even when I was stuffed and then I continued on past the point of no return all the way to: death-com-four...having to unbutton the top button of my jeans!
If only we had Smelloputer! Heinz 57 sauce is combined with Worcestershire and liquid smoke and that's what this brisket is braised in, along with it's own juices...this brisket was so flavorful that no BBQ sauce was needed - which was a first for me! Naked brisket sandwiches...A.Mazing!
57 Brisket - Adapted from Carol Wagner, Brisket Aficianado
1 brisket (6 lbs.), fat slightly trimmed
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground dry mustard
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (regular paprika is okay)
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 bottle (10 oz.) Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
1/4 cup liquid smoke (mom's recipe calls for 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, paprika and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the brisket, both sides. Put brisket in baking dish, fat side up and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, take brisket from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl combine Heinz 57 Steak Sauce, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over brisket. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil (I cover my entire dish, completely wrapping it tightly in foil.) Bake in 300 degree oven for 7 to 8 hours. Allow to sit for 15 minutes on counter before slicing. Slice against the grain. Serves 10 to 12.
The place was decorated up! Flour stars lined the walkway, flags and banners flew - even in the rain! I had hoped to have everyone outside on the deck for dinner but it was just TOO DANG COLD!!
Along with the brisket we had baked corn on the cob, (leave it in the husks and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes - tender, moist and sweet!) We also had Potato Salad Sans Eggs, Edith's Slaw, deviled eggs, Tomato Salad with Buttermilk-Basil Dressing and my 4th of July signature dish...Mini Cheesecakes with cherries on top!
We had a great feast - worthy of fireworks, too bad we didn't have any! If you don't have your July 4th menu written in stone...give this brisket a try!
LeRoy Neiman passed away last week and this week Nora Ephron died, and I just have to say something about them because I'm so saddened by their passings. I have been inspired by their enormous talents for years. Leroy Neiman's style was so unique, so different - I loved everything about the way he painted. While most of his paintings featured famous sports athletes or sporting events, the colors and vibrancy of his work appealed to many, including those of us who can't walk and chew gum...it was fresh, relevant and I could never look at one of his paintings without smiling...to me, he painted happy. I met him once, about 20 years ago in Boston...it was just in passing...I was crossing a street and looked up and saw him coming towards me...my heart skipped a beat! When he was right in front of me I blurted out, "I love your book!" He must have thought I was a total idiot!!! He's a PAINTER and I said I loved his BOOK!! He asked me my name, we shook hands and he wished me well and off he went...I walked off shaking my head in disbelief that I had met one of my heroes...and that I said BOOK!!! I have a coffee-table book of LeRoy Neiman's work and I have pawed through that book for years and years...to open that book is to go to my happy place. So when I saw him I was reminded of my book - still, what an idiot! I'll never be able to afford one of his paintings (especially now) but I still have that book...for me, it's the next best thing. And Nora...how could anyone not just love Nora Ephron?!? She gave us some of the best movies EVER...When Harry Met Sally , Sleepless in Seattle, Heartburn, You've Got Mail, and my favorite, Julie and Julia - just to name a few! Nora was funny and smart and a gutsy writer - she had a voice and she used it! I also loved how Nora wrote about life - the ugly, mundane and routine of daily existence would be turned to clever, witty and funny - oh so hysterically funny. After reading something Nora had written or after seeing one of her movies I always felt better. I didn't get to meet Nora, but if I had, I probably would have blurted out something stupid instead of saying what I would have loved to tell her...Thanks Nora!