Rich brisket ragù

When I lived in Texas I fell in love with beef brisket, and couldn’t understand why this delicious cut of meat wasn’t more popular in Australia. I put it down to people not knowing what to do with it. Because of all the thick connective tissue it has to be cooked very low and very slow, otherwise it is as tough as old boots. Cooked correctly, it simply melts in your mouth.

You need to get started on this recipe well ahead of time, but the upside is that it makes a huge amount and tastes even better the next day. Serve it with fresh pasta for the most amazing meal of your life. (Big call, but my good friend Poppy made it!)

Note: This recipe uses a thermo cooker.

Ingredients:

2kg boneless beef brisket
30g macadamia oil
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 brown onions, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
700g tomato passata
400g can diced tomatoes
250g red wine
60g stock concentrate
50g balsamic vinegar
20g Dijon mustard
20g brown sugar
100g rocket
100g pecorino or parmesan, shaved (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Place meat flat in a large casserole dish, fatty side up. Choose a dish that fits the meat snugly, but still allows it to lie completely flat. Rub meat with 10g macadamia oil and scatter with rosemary sprigs. Roast for 30 minutes, uncovered.

3. Meanwhile, place onion and garlic in thermo cooker bowl, chop for 5 seconds, speed 5. Scrape down sides.

4. Add remaining 20g macadamia oil, sauté for 6 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.

5. Add passata, tomatoes, red wine, stock concentrate, vinegar, mustard and sugar. Mix for 5 seconds, speed 4.

6. Cook for 10 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.

7. Remove meat from oven and pour over the tomato mixture, ensuring meat is submerged as much as possible. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Reduce temperature to 140°C and roast for 4 hours.

8. Remove lid or foil and cook, uncovered, for a further 1 hour, or until sauce is thick and reduced and meat pulls apart easily.

9. Remove meat from oven and set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Shred meat using two forks and stir through pan juices.

10. Serve ragù with fresh pasta, polenta or mashed potato. Top with rocket and cheese.

Recipe extracted from Everyday Thermo Cooking by Alyce Alexandra, published by Penguin Random House, RRP $39.99. Available in all good bookstores and online.

Image credit: Loryn Babauskis.