Celebrate graduation with beef brisket

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This weekend is a big here in the Hall house. Our baby girl, Emily graduates from high school. I say our, because to her older siblings, Holly and Matthew, she is our baby. Emily started at Cathedral in the three-year-old program and has been there ever since. And even though she is headed off to Ole Miss pharmacy school this fall — a place she has been going to since she was a baby — leaving her little nest on Martin Luther King drive won’t be as easy as she thinks. Until then I have the whole summer to cook for her and that is something all my children enjoy. With family coming in for the graduation this weekend, and knowing how busy we will be, I decided to turn to my tried and true brisket recipe.

A caterer friend of mine in Jackson gave me this recipe and it has never let me down. It gets it start by marinating a couple of days and then cooks for 3 to 4 hours completely unattended, which is exactly what I need in this situation.

Marinated Beef Brisket

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5 to 6 pounds beef brisket

Celery salt

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

Black Pepper

1/2 cup red wine

One bottle good barbecue sauce

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Trim most of the fat off of the brisket. Place in large dish and cover with celery salt, onion, garlic and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the wine, barbecue sauce and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the brisket. Cover tightly and marinate for 2 to 3 days. Remove the cover turn the brisket and cover with foil and cook on 275 degrees for 3 to 4 hours, checking at 3 hours for doneness and tenderness. Let cool slightly and slice very thinly against the grain. I marinate and cook my brisket in the same large Pyrex dish. I do set it out so the dish can come to room temperature before I place it in the oven.

My tomatoes are nowhere near ready so I will be calling my friend Ricky Smith and begging for a couple from his green house. Add some fresh basil and mozzarella to that and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little balsamic vinegar and the best salad you can have will be done. With the brisket, I will serve rolls, and parmesan potatoes and asparagus. In addition, for dessert a homemade pound cake with berries and whipped cream to top it will finish our celebratory meal.

Christina Hall writes a weekly food column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.