Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beet Brisket

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I roasted the brisket with onions, according to the recipe from Second Helpings, Please!. Then, I added the beets to the final part of the cooking process. While the beets did give an appropriate sweetness to the brisket, even all that meaty goodness and caramelized deliciousness couldn't hide the fact that they were, well... beets. If you liked beets, you liked the dish. If you didn't like beets, you attempted bites in an effort to get your toddler to eat one or two. 

The beet greens turn out to be the first greens to fail my failsafe greens cooking method (pan sautéed, with garlic and a splash of apple cider vinegar), mostly because I stopped paying attention, and they went from green to grey. The ones that were still green were delicious, the ones that were grey... not so much.

I should have just made the beet chocolate cake or beet ice cream, as recommended by the Denisons, and called it a day. Maybe I'll just pickle them next time and give them to my Grandpa. He loves the things. It's not that I hate them, it's just that Dave does. I share the table with him while he's grimacing, he being the one taking the unconvincing bite while trying to talk Nomi into eating just one.

I did make homemade dinner rolls from scratch. They came out perfectly, thanks to Cuisinart and Nomi's excellent measuring skills. I used All-Purpose instead of bread flour, and I should have started the sponge the day before. However, for same day, low gluten rolls, they were a big hit, and I have 8 in the freezer, ready to go for whenever we next have a hankering for them.

Give this a shot. It needs tinkering, but its worth trying. Collective recipe building, anyone?

Beet Brisket
Adapted from Second Helping, Please!

4 lb brisket
3 onions
1 bunch beets
2 cups orange or apricot juice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice onions. Place in the bottom of a dutch oven. Pat dry, then season brisket with salt and pepper. Place on top of onions. Place dutch oven in oven, 45 minutes per pound.

2. As brisket reaches end of cooking time, cover dutch oven and turn off oven. Allow to cool, about 45 minutes. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Remove beet greens and roots from beets. Scrub beets. Leaving skin on, place in dutch oven, along with orange juice. Cover, and place in 350 degree oven for 1 hr. Serve. Share and enjoy.

Dinner Rolls
Adapted from "America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book"

5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups warm water
1 pkg yeast
2 tsp salt

1. Blend together yeast, flour and water until combined. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

2. Add salt. Knead for 8 minutes.

3. Turn out, and place in lightly greased bowl. Cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hrs.

4. Roll dough into 18 inch snake. Divide into 16 pieces. Covering all but the one you're working with, roll each into a roll, by folding in half, then again, then stretching taught and rolling with a partially cupped hand on your work surface. Place rolls two inches apart on parchment paper covered sheet pans. Mist with oil, cover and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 75 minutes.*

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

*Side note: It is at this step that you would freeze them. Place a tray in your freezer, and allow the rolls to freeze individually. Once frozen, remove and bag. To reheat, remove from freezer a half hour before cooking, and allow to bake at the same temperature for 20-25 minutes.

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