Friday, February 18, 2011

Brisket Braised in Coconut Milk

Braising is a great way to cook tough cuts of  meat in a way that will yield a melt- in- your- mouth, cut -with- a- spoon, consistency.  I used brisket for this dish, which was braised in velvety coconut milk  along with a few other ingredients for a few hours on low heat until it was super tender. The old adage is true... good things come to those who wait, and this is a great example.

2.5 lbs. brisket, trimmed of visible fat
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 can coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 or 2 limes (zested and juiced, adjust to your liking, but I liked mine with the juice of 2)
2 tbsp. red curry paste (I used a Thai curry paste for this)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper or siracha hot sauce
salt to taste
green onion and red onion for garnishing at the end (you don't have to do this, but I thought it added a little extra vibrancy at the end)

The first thing to to is add the canola oil to a large dutch oven and turn the heat up to high.  Cut the brisket into large chunks and pat dry with a few paper towels.  Season with a little salt and add in batches to the dutch oven to begin browning. Make sure to turn the meat around using tongs to brown on all sides.  Transfer to a holding plate when the meat is browned.  Repeat until all of the brisked it browned.  If too much oil is rendered from the meat, make sure to remove it from the dutch oven.  Begin dicing your onions and peppers and grating your garlic and ginger.  Add this to the dutch oven and begin cooking cooking the veggies until they're tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the curry paste to the dutch oven and with a spoon or spatula begin combining it with the onions, peppers and the rest of what's in the pot.  Next add in the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and the juice and zest of one lime.  Combine everything really well and then transfer the meat and all of the juices that may have accumulated on the plate into the dutch oven.

Give everything a good stir, taste for salt, and then place the lid on the pot.  Cook undisturbed for about 1 1/2 hours.   Check on it at this point.  Add in the cayenne pepper or hot sauce and stir.  The sauce should still be quite liquid at this point but don't worry, it will thicken later with your help and a little time.  Continue to cook the beef for another half hour.  At this point,  begin slicing your green onions and anything you'd like to add to garnish.   Remove the lid and add in the tomato paste and a little more lime juice.  Make sure to dissolve the tomato paste well into the sauce.  Allow the beef to simmer with the lid off to reduce the liquid a bit for another 20 minutes.  Serve with jasmine rice and top with your sliced onions.


Nathan said...

I love coconut milk,did you know in Baracoa, Cuba cooking with coconut milk is very common, like they'll cook pork, chicken, seafood, etc. with coconut milk. Usually involves a sofrito with a little tomato and aji picante with the addition of coconut milk, and they season it with culantro, salt, pepper, etc.

They're cooking is different from our Cuban cooking because Baracoa wasn't connected to Cuba by land until Castro built the bridge connecting it, so it's cuisine stayed pretty isolated for awhile, only place in Cuba that has some people of Taino descent.

I also love to eat Bacan (anotehr specialty from there) it's a green plantain meat pie, wrapped in banana leaves with pork and coconut milk,

pae said...

oh man...this was soooo good!! The meat was succulent and the flavor was out of this world!!! You out did yourself on this one ROX...HANDS DOWN!!

Rafael Delgado said...

This reminds of a Brazilian beef dish that I make and my family loves it. I'll try this recipe, though.

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