Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cookin’ the Book: Pioneer Woman’s Braised Beef Brisket and Homemade Ranch with Iceberg Wedge


Brisket and I are only barely acquaintances.  I believe I had a bite of it once, and it seemed fine… never caught my fancy enough to make it myself. 

One of the reasons I want to work my way through an entire cookbook was to push myself to try recipes I’d normally skip, and this weekend it was time to find out a little more about the mysterious brisket.

An inspection of the meat department at my usual grocery store led me to surmise that brisket is not a particularly popular cut ‘round these parts—there was exactly one puny 2 lb roast put out.  If I’m braising something for 6 hours, I am going to cook more than two measly pounds!  Thankfully the butcher had one—no more, no less--in back that was 5 pounds.  Done and done.

This recipe is time consuming only in that it marinates for a day, then bakes for most of another day.  Technical difficulty?  Not a factor unless using can openers is not your strong suit.

I decided to make this meal a two-fer on the book-cookin’ front, and also made homemade ranch dressing, which also is easy-peasy.  If you can chop and stir, then you can make this.  I normally wouldn’t even glance at a head of iceberg lettuce, but I am making *the* recipes as written, and dutifully bought some.


Both the brisket and salad dressing were tasty!  I rounded out the meal with crusty bread and some yummy cooked greens.   Step by step directions and photos are HERE and HERE.  Of the two, I think I personally like the ranch most—it is so fresh, with none of that bottled taste.  With kids around, believe me, I will have noooo problem finding ways to use the leftover ranch!  Heck, with me around, I’ll have no problem… but that is another, sadder tale… involving  pizza crusts… lonely, forgotten pizza crusts… I’m just saving them from an inglorious end in the trash, really!

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