This one came straight out of the hallowed pages of Jamie Oliver's new cookbook Comfortfood and - BAM! - right into our new Christmas-present Emeril Cookware casserole. A cook-off of Titans, if you will, right in our kitchen.
We started with seasoning a 2 lb piece of brisket with salt and pepper from all sides.
Then we cranked up the heat on that casserole dish and added a few gluggs of olive oil.
In the meantime we cranked the oven to 250F and roughly chopped up one big red onion and two sticks of celery.
We reduced the heat and gently cooked the veggies for another 10 minutes.
That gave us time to get sauced. At 11 a.m. mind you. We mixed up 3 1/2 cups of smoothly crushed uncooked tomato sauce (our best description for a "passata" substitute), the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of Tabasco sauce, 3 tablespoons vodka, and 1 tablespoon port.
All that we added to the meat and cranked up the heat to a boil.
We tied up a handful of rosemary sprigs with 2 fresh bay leaves.
The herbs got tossed into all that goodness and then ...
... we shoved it into the oven. For 5 1/2 hours. The aromas coming from the kitchen all day long made it, of course, hard to wait.
Half an hour before we were ready for dinner we got a pot of water to a boil and tossed in a few handfuls of green beans, trimmed and halved, for just about 6 minutes. We drained them to serve.
We also boiled a pot worth of yellow potatoes, peeled and cut, until they were soft. We drained them as well and then mashed them up with about one cup of heavy cream, a few chunks of butter, salt, and freshly grated nutmeg. Oooooh, goodie.
When we brought the brisket back to daylight, we removed the herbs and pulled the meat apart with a fork.
This will be, no doubt, a holiday classic for years to come. Let's just say: New Years with all the good attentions can wait for a few days. This dinner was not for timid souls. It was made for eating.