Now, I use brisket for this because, well, I love brisket. But there is no reason you can't use chuck steak, blade steak or even a more expensive bone-in option like short ribs. Just be aware that the times will vary depending on what cut you use. This is a very simple recipe that I cook for the the little dude (5) - he loves it. But it can be souped-up with other ingredients or by varying the liquids used.
Step 1: Cut up 1kg of beef brisket into 2cm cubes, put in a single layer in a baking dish and marinade in 200ml red wine, three garlic cloves (crushed with the flat of a knife), a sprig of rosemary, a splash of olive oil and a dusting of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and leave for an hour.
Step 2: In a large frying pan or casserole, fry cubes of beef in batches in hot olive oil until dark brown. While doing this finely slice 2 onions and roughly chop 2 carrots. DO NOT DISCARD LIQUID.
Step 3: Turn heat down and sautee onions with a pinch of baking soda* when brown add carrots.
Step 4: Return meat to pan and add the marinade, 1 teaspoon of spanish smoked paprika, 500ml beef stock (homemade is best but Campbell's will do), 100mls of red wine and 200g of (drink the rest of the bottle with dinner) tomato pulp. Bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 3 hours. It is done when the collagen in the meat gelatinises - you should be able to break a piece to shreds with your fingers or with forks.
Step 5: Remove meat from the dish and raise heat - reduce until the liquid is thick. Shred meat and carrots using a fork or your fingers and add back to liquid.
Serve with pasta, boiled or mashed potatoes, rice, bread.... whatevs. Garnish with parsley and/or citrus zest.
- As I said, I make this for the little dude - I put about 10 cloves of garlic in if making it for myself.
- As long as there is about a 1:1 ratio of meat to liquid you can change up the liquid - chicken stock for a lighter result, all wine or just water. I wouldn't use more than 1/2 beef stock as the dish becomes extremely rich.
- For an awesome taco filling change up the liquid to chicken stock, marinate in the juice of a lime and 2 chopped chipotle peppers (add these to the liquid as well) and a teaspoon of toasted coriander and cumin. Garnish with fresh coriander and lime juice.
- For a traditional Beef Burgundy, replace the tomato pulp with more wine, use whole smal pickling onions (these will need to be roasted first) and garnish with sautéed mushrooms and lardons.
- Go mad... change up the herbs and spices used and so forth.
* This raises the pH which speeds up the browning or maillard reaction - I found this out while reading Modernist Cuisine at Home; they use the technique to make roasted vegetable soups in a pressure cooker.