* this is best prepared the day before you want to serve it and is simply reheated
1 large brisket (4-5 lbs)
¼ cup Magic Dust
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large Spanish onions (1 lb)
5 large cloves garlic
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cup water
1 large can crushed (or diced) tomatoes
¼ cup fancy molasses
The evening before cooking sprinkle “magic dust” liberally on both sides of the brisket. Put the brisket in a large freezer bag and put in the fridge. Turn it over whenever you think of it.
The next day, take the brisket out of fridge and let it come to room temperature while you slice up the onions (I use setting no. II on my mandolin) and mince the cloves of garlic. In a large pan heat oil to near smoking, add brisket to pan and sear both sides until brown (about 7 minutes per side).
Remove the brisket from the pan and put in the crock pot on the low heat setting.
Still working with the pan used to sear the beef, reduce the heat to medium and the add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook onions down for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add apple cider vinegar & water to the pan and work up the brown pan bits into the onion / garlic mixture. Once the pan is clean, transfer the mixture to the crock pot (cover the beef). To this add the can of tomato (including all the liquid) and the molasses. No need to stir – just put on the lid, make sure the temperature is set to low and walk away. Cooking can take 8 – 10 hours using this technique. If you don’t have a crock pot you can also do this in a covered roasting pan in a traditional oven set at 250 degrees for the same amount of time.
You can tell the brisket is done when it falls apart when merely threatened with a fork. At this point – remove it from the liquids and place it on a large cutting board. Using two forks start at one edge and simply pull the meat apart (hence the term ‘pulled’ brisket). At this stage I usually transfer the pulled meat into a container and pop into the fridge until about 2 hours before I’m ready to serve.
To make the sauce/gravy – separate the liquids and solids that remain in the crock pot. Keep all of the solids and about 4 cups of the liquid. Puree the solids to a very smooth consistency – I put the solids in a large juice pitcher and use a hand blender . Slowly add the reserved liquids, continuing to puree until you reach the desired consistency – ketchup like. Check the seasonings, add salt, pepper, magic dust, hot sauce to suit your palate. Put the sauce in the fridge until ready to reheat.
To reheat I simply add all the ingredients back into my crock pot, stir to combine and set the temperature to low. After about an hour it should be back to a nice serving temperature. If you aren’t ready for it yet, reduce the temperature to ‘warm’ and it’ll be ready whenever you are.
Serve with good crusty rolls, mayo and horseradish.