Adapted from The Brisket Book by Stephanie Pierson, Andrews McMeel Publishing
From Chef/Owner John Shields, Gertrude’s, The Baltimore Museum of Art
Inspired by southern Maryland braised ribs, this is one of the few summer briskets. The sweetness of fresh ripe peaches is tempered by tart apple cider vinegar, deepened by cinnamon and cloves. When this beauty is ready to eat, you don’t know whether to dig in or call the paparazzi. If you can’t wait until peach season, Chef Shields suggests individually frozen peaches. Shields sometimes uses fresh apricots instead of peaches.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (4-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups beef stock, such as Manischewitz Beef Broth
1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cups peeled, sliced semi–firm fresh peaches
2 bay leaves
1 scant teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In an ovenproof enameled cast–iron pot or other heavy pot with a tight–fitting lid just large enough to hold the brisket snugly, heat the oil over medium–high heat until hot. Add the brisket and brown well on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a large platter and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Return the brisket to the pot and add the beef stock. Bring the stock to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits, and add the brown sugar, vinegar, and 4 cups of the sliced peaches. Stir in the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook the brisket until fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Turn the brisket over several times during the cooking process.
When the brisket is done, transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Push the braising liquid through a coarse strainer into a pot. Skim off any fat, then bring the liquid to a boil and reduce it by about one–third. The sauce should be full–lavored and slightly syrupy; if it’s not, reduce it a little further. Add the remaining sliced peaches and warm gently. Adjust the seasonings. Slice the brisket against the grain and place on a warm platter. Serve with the peach gravy on the side.
Yield: Serves 8
Recipes: Meat, Brisket, Kosher