This was a marvelous dish of Sweet and Sour Brisket.  I sware. The picture does not do it justice!  It was savory, yet succulently sweet and so tender.

Unfortunately, my camera was out of batteries the night that I made this, so I photographed some leftovers that I ate the next night.  Bad move.

But, in my defense, even the photo in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for the recipe that I adapted is not by any stretch one of her best.  But at least Perelman’s picture looks appetizing.

But enough on my failures as a photographer.  It’s clear that I won’t be uploading this photo to a variety of food picture websites.

I had to blog about this brisket nonetheless to, at a minimum, document this culinary adventure.

Some background:  I have very recently become OBSESSED with brisket.  This is due, in large part,  to the opening of a relatively new restaurant in my town that serves the best brisket soft tacos EVER.  Keep in mind that I am not someone who has had a great deal of exposure to brisket in my life for whatever reason.  It’s not something I would ever order in a restaurant if given the choice.  It is, however, something my husband orders frequently when given the choice and that I tasted in taco form.  It was life CHANGING.

Admittedly, it will be 2015 before I get to the point where I can remotely re-engineer a recipe like the one that they have composed at Bodega Taco Bar in Darien, CT.  Until then, I will be exploring a variety of recipes that taste nothing like those tacos, but are certainly pleasing to the taste buds.

My first foray into the brisket backwoods was a few weeks ago.  I slowcooked it in jalapeno, cumin, cayenne with a variety of other ingredients.  It was good, but in that moment, I was missing my charger for my camera (do you see a common theme here?).  My failure to document means I have forgotten exactly what I did.

This post documents my second attempt at brisket.  The family was quite pleased with the result.   I adapted the original recipe by Perelman by skipping the onion powder, reducing the amount of tomato paste (because I ran out), cooking a little less meat, using sea salt instead of kosher salt, and adding a can of diced tomatoes to compensate for the tomato paste and to ensure that the full slab of beef was bathed in a red bath for a few hours and not peeking out with the potential for drying out.

I am no closer to learning how they make the brisket tacos at Bodega, but I certainly enjoyed this dish.  BTW, There’s a good photo me in yet 🙂

Sweet and Sour Brisket
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman
  • 3 lbs brisket
  • 1½ tsp of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1½ tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅛ red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Season meat generously with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients together in bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place the meat in a dutch oven, pour sauce over it, and cover dish.
  5. Bake for 3 hours. [Alternatively, place in the slow cooker for 10 hours on low.]
  6. Let brisket rest, preferably overnight in refrigerator in the same container.
  7. Slice brisket in ⅛ inch slices. Return to dutch oven and sauce and cook at 300 for 15-20 minutes until edges are bubbling. Serve immediately.

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