Monday, August 22, 2016

Nick is in Town....

Nick came to visit for the week on a rare break from school so we had to do something special since we see him so rarely during this final rotation of clinical experience before he graduates in May and hopefully moves back to Omaha. Mackenzie and Jill joined the fray as well.

Serious Eats had just posted an article about Sous Vide techniques for brisket and I found a smaller 7 pound brisket at the market, vacuum sealed and ready to rock or so I thought.
Ribs, Brisket, Baked Potato Casserole and Asian Slaw

The process takes literally days so I thawed the brisket out early on Thursday and started calculating the time needed to bring it to perfection. I believe that late Friday night after our guests left the house, I brought the sealed brisket out of the fridge and found out disappointingly that my oven was not quite large enough for this small brisket so I would have to halve it then reseal it. That gave me a chance to season it and add a bit of liquid smoke. The two smaller packages fit snugly in the oven so I let the long, slow process continue. I could not decide how I wanted the final texture of the meat which is temperature dependent so I split the difference and opted for 147 degrees for about 36 hours give or take.

When I finally took the brisket out before church on Sunday, it was not quite there yet so I placed both pieces in a foil roaster with a bit of the reserved juice, covered tightly and place in 250 degree convection oven with a rack of baby back ribs  while we went to church.

We came home to nirvana. The house smelled terrific and the brisket had finished, got a nice bark on it and the fat cap had all but dissolved. The drippings were rich and fatty so I strained them, separated the fat and cooked the remaining nectar with a bit of BBQ sauce to a great reduction to pass with the meat. I sliced the brisket which barely held together and set it aside.

Now for the sides. Brenda had some slaw left and was deciding between Asian or Blue cheese slaw and opted for Asian. I had cooked a pound of bacon anyway for another appetizer and used part of it to make a potato side. I wanted something cheesey and savory. Not my usual potato salad.

Baked Potato Casserole

5-6 medium scrubbed baking potatoes, baked and cooled, cut into 1 inch chunks
8 ounces shredded cheese. (I used triple cheddar)
1/2 c sour cream
3/4 c heavy cream
3 green onions sliced fine  green parts included
1/4 pound crisp bacon chopped
1/4- 1/2 c prepared Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

I mixed everything in a large bowl before dumping it in a greased casserole dish. Covered and baked at 350 for 40 minutes or more.  Yes, that is just what I wanted. Yum.

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