Two weeks ago I screwed up a brisket. Not really sure what went wrong, probably just bad meat, but it turned out tough and dry. I wasn't about to throw out $25.00 worth of beef because it was dry. I figured I'd just cut it all into chunks, vacuum seal and wait for chili weather. There's nothing better in this world than a good chili made with brisket. However one package of the brisket isn't going to make it into the chili pot. The other day I went looking in the freezer for something to eat and decided to come up with something using the brisket. With Mrs. Grail out-of-town for a couple of weeks I had to come up a recipe that was something I would be willing to eat a couple of times over the next week or so. I decided a knock-off of beef bourguignon was going to be my meals for a couple of days. There must be a billion different versions of beef bourguignon on the internet and in cookbooks so I read about 20 of them and decided to just channel my inner Julia Child and see what I could come up with. Traditionally beef bourguignon or beef burgundy is made with burgundy which for a non-alcohol drinking household posed an immediate challenge. I needed to come up with the fruitiness of burgundy but not the alcohol. I think I came up with a good alternative. Does the final dish have the same flavor profile than it would have with burgundy? Don't know, but it still tasted pretty darn good. To get the fruitiness I used a bottle of IBC Black Cherry soda that I reduced to syrup which I added to the dish while cooking.
I diced up the brisket and tossed in some diced rib eye I had in the refrigerator. The recipe I came up with is a little different from the traditional beef burgundy as far as the herbs and spices is concerned. I had to be careful to come up with something that worked with the rub I used when I originally smoked the brisket.
The thyme is normal but the Herbs de Provence is my addition. The savory and fennel, in the Herbs de Provence helped to soften the flavor from the rub so you could taste the mushrooms and tomato paste.
Here are the three ways I used the Brisket Bourguignon.
Brisket Bourguignon Shepherd’s Pie
And something a little more traditional Brisket Bourguignon over bow tie pasta
- 1 bottle IBC Black Cherry Soda
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup shallots, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- 1½ to 2 pounds smoked brisket, small cubed
- 3 cups beef broth
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 oz baby portabella mushrooms
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pour the black cherry soda in a medium sauce pan and reduce over medium high heat until a thick syrup. Stir often to avoid scorching. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or small dutch oven heat the olive oil and saute the bell pepper and celery for a couple of minutes, just until they start to soften.
- Add shallots and garlic and continue cooking until soft.
- Add cubed brisket to pan and stir to combine with vegetables.
- Add beef broth and cook until hot.
- Add thyme and Herbs de Provence (or whatever herbs you use)
- Add tomato paste and cook until brisket is tender
- Add mushrooms and cook until mushroom are soft.
- The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid so only add extra water or broth if necessary.