Braised Brisket with Beans and Ancho Chile
Richard Haake, Robert Mondavi
The long, slow cooking time in the oven renders the brisket so tender and flavorful, you’ll swear it came straight from heaven.
What to buy: If you’re having a hard time finding brisket, just ask your butcher. This tough cut is a classic for slow, low, long cooking. Either the first or second cut of the brisket will work for this recipe.
Look for fresh epazote in Mexican groceries in Texas, California, or other warm states. Look for dried epazote in the spice section of Latin supermarkets or online.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds beef brisket, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 4 dried ancho chiles, rehydrated, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup seeded and coarsely chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cups (1 quart) beef broth
- 1 cup yellow Indian woman beans or similar small brown beans such as pinto or anasazi
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh epazote (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the rack in the middle.
- 2Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. When oil shimmers, add meat and brown thoroughly on all sides. Transfer brisket to a plate and set aside to rest.
- 3Reduce heat to medium, stir in onions and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles and garlic and cook until chiles soften, about 5 minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
- 4Add wine, stir, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan; let mixture simmer until it is reduced by half. Add beef broth and bring to a slow boil. Return brisket to the pot, submerging meat in the liquid. Cover the pot and place in the oven to braise for 2 hours.
- 5After 2 hours, remove the pot from the oven and stir in beans, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, and epazote. If the pot looks a little dry, the sauce may have overreduced. To fix this, add more broth or water until it has a soupy consistency again. Cover and return the pot to the oven for 1 more hour.
- 6Remove the pot from the oven and place beef on a plate to rest. Taste beans, and if necessary, add salt and pepper. Slice brisket across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. To serve, ladle beans into a bowl, top with sliced brisket, and garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Beverage pairing: The key to remember here is spice and complexity. Dishes like this brisket, which contains both chiles and cumin, require a straightforward wine that will not detract from their nuances. A deeply colored rosé will provide enough fruit to stand up to the beef, while complementing the subtle flavors in the dish. Try the 2005 Vin de Pays du Gard Rosé Mas de Guiot.
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