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I always wanted to study at Harvard, and now’s my chance. Thanks to my well-informed friend, Sharyn Katsof, I’ve enrolled in Harvard’s online course on Cooking Sciencetaught by top chefs. It falls a little short of attending one of the best cooking schools in the world, but hey, what do you want from me?

Maybe you want brisket:

My go-to brisket recipe is Norene Gilletzs Marinated Brisket from her Processor Cookbook. It’s been my signature dish at celebrations for as long as I’ve been cooking. In keeping with the spirit of expanding horizons, studying cooking science and trying your favourite recipes, I had to give Ian Scharf’s Brisket Steeped in Coffee and Beer a whirl. Maybe I’ll use this recipe for extra credit to boost my grades at Harvard!

Brisket Steeped in Coffee and Beer

Brisket Steeped in Coffee and Beer

  • 1 whole 5-6 lb brisket with a 1/4-inch layer of fat on top, punctured 8 times with a knife and studded with garlic
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 medium onions, sliced
  • 1-2 c each perked coffee and beer (or enough to cover at least 1/2 of the brisket)

Brisket Rub

  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 T hot chili powder
  • 2 t brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 t cumin

Combine all rub ingredients, then coat the brisket in the rub. Cover the brisket with onion, and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring the brisket to room temperature in a roasting pan. Cook the brisket for 45 minutes, then drop the oven temperature to 325F and continue cooking for 4-5 hours, basting it from time to time. The high temperature for a short time will sear the meat and lock in the juices.

Allow the brisket to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat from the sauce, and slice the brisket across the grain—an electric knife does a good job— before reheating it in the sauce. No worries about reheating brisket—It tastes great even with lots of reheating, as long as it’s steeped in the scrumptious sauce. Can be frozen. Serves 10-12.

Brisket Steeped in Coffee and Beer Print Ready Recipe 

Brisket Steeped in Coffee and Beer

Final notes:

  • It’s not too late to sign up for the FREE Cooking Science course. Admit it: You, too, want to go to Harvard.
  • Did you know that flavours become more pronounced the longer a rub is on meat? When you leave a rub on a tightly wrapped roast for 12 to 24 hours, the meat will develop a distinct, somewhat cured flavour.
  • My healthy-eating food guide, Harriet Sugar Miller, suggests we select organic, grass fed brisket, if we’re splurging.
  • Thank you Sharyn, Ian, Norene and Harriet, for keeping my food life so interesting.
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