Grandma Sylvia’s Brisket

As we come upon the holiday season, what better way to celebrate than with comfort food?  My grandmother passed down the BEST brisket recipe and so here I pass it along to you.

Grandma Sylvia’s Brisket

(Inspiration from my grandmother!)

Ingredients:

2 to 2 ½ lb. flat cut beef brisket
1 c. catsup
1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup water

photo 1

Preparations:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix  catsup, soup, brown sugar and water in a bowl.

photo 2

3.  Place brisket in a baking pan.

photo 3

4.  Pour mixture over.

photo 4

5.  Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours*. [See note below on cook time]

photo 5

6.  Uncover and bake ½ hour more.

photo 1 (2)

7.  The brisket will shrink (totally normal!).  Baste with pan juices and slice to serve.

photo 2 (2)

Results:

*As a general rule, consider cooking 3/4 of an hour per pound.  In this case, I had a 2.5 lb brisket, so I did 2 hours.   If you use a smaller piece of meat, you can cook it for less time (and vice versa).  However, definitely be sure to do the 30 minutes uncovered, regardless of the rest of your cook time.

This is another Sunday one, because it’s easy but it takes a few hours to cook.  It’s definitely a quality comfort food and leftovers are even better the next day.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a veggie (in this case, I used asparagus).   It will warm you up and make you smile 🙂

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

So, this one is a bit of a doozy. It’s not something I’d make every day or even on a work night. This one is for a good and chilly Sunday where you want something savory and you have a bit of time to dedicate to it.  You’ll also be using a lot of your burners on your stove, so be sure it is ready to go.

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
(Inspiration drawn from here and here)

Ingredients
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine [a Chardonnay works really nicely here]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch of kosher salt
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup asparagus tips
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

ingredients

Instructions:
1.  In a medium saucepan with a lid, combine chicken broth and white wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm.

2.  In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

onions

3.  Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.

halfway

4.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the mushrooms and asparagus tips until cooked.  Remove from skillet and place in a bowl and cover with tinfoil.

veggies

**Take a look at how full the stovetop will be.  If you have too many things going at once, you’re doing it right!

many pots

5.  Get ready for an upper-body workout!   Reduce the heat of the pot to low, and add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir the rice mixture, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before.

risotto  process

Give yourself a good 35-45 minutes of stirring and pouring.  WARNING: If you dump all of it in at once, it will take twice as long and the rice will be too crunchy.  It is worth the wait/bicep improvement, I promise!

6.  At this point, there should be just enough liquid left to make it one more stir.  Add the asparagus and mushrooms back into the pot with the last bit of liquid and stir all together.

done in pot

7.  Mix in the Parmesan until melted.

8.  Add a little extra Parmesan for a garnish and enjoy!

final

Results:

Like I said above, this is a good one for a chilly day where you have some time to dedicate to it.  The stirring takes forever, but without it, the rice won’t cook through correctly.

It’s a delicious pasta-like dish that is filling and will warm you up!  The mushrooms and asparagus complement each other really nicely in this dish.  If you have other veggies you prefer, anything goes well in risotto.