Marc's Famous American Brisket


Nello and I recently met Peggy Wiseman, a trainer/endurance athlete extraordinairre, and she advised us on both training (more on that to come) and diet. Naturally, Peggy spoke of the enormous calorie requirements that we will have, and the need to consume large quantities of carbohydrates (not a problem for us, we said). She also stressed that on a ride of our distance, we should also be consuming a fair amount of fat to be utilised as an important energy source. Indeed, training for an event such as ours is one of the few instances where a high fat diet, in conjunction with a high carbo diet, can be positively recommended.
Good, I thought. A perfect excuse to make my "famous American brisket" for the Festa di Pasqua, our outdoor Easter Festival on the Topsham Recreation Ground. American brisket, as every schoolboy should know, is deliciously bad for you: slow cooked in lots of gunk, sweet and greasy, it's the sort of food-in-a-bun that always runs down your arms and chin as you eat it outside. But it tastes so good you usually don't even care.

2 1/2 lbs (1 kg) brisket (no other cut will do)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

3 or 4 pieces of celery, coarsely chopped

1 green chili, seeded and chopped (use more chilies if you want to liven things up)

About 2 cups Heinz tomato ketchup (no other will do)

Half a bottle of smoky barbeque sauce (any sort will do)

1 cup cider vinegar


Salt and pepper to taste

Hamburger buns

Coleslaw (preferably homemade)

If you must, trim the brisket of excess fat. Leave in a whole piece. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and gently fry the chopped vegetables. Add the meat and brown. Add the tomato ketchup, smoky barbeque sauce, vinegar, and sufficient water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a bare simmer, and leave to slow cook for 3 to 4 hours or even longer.

Allow to cool (preferably overnight) then thoroughly defat (OK, if you like, you can leave some of the fat -- it does make it taste better). Take out the pieces of meat and shred them completely with a fork. Return the shredded meat to the gooey sauce.

To serve, reheat thoroughly, and spoon generously into hamburger buns, topped with a spoonful or two of homemade coleslaw.

Wine Suggestion You gotta be kidding. A tall-neck bottle of Stroh's (I'd like to say no other will do, but in fact, plenty others will do just fine), or, if you're feeling poncey a very well chilled tumbler of White Zinfandel.

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