The braising liquid used in this recipe is white wine based instead of the beef stock or red wine based ones common when braising beef. As a result the sauce is lighter and more of the brisket’s original flavor comes through.
Ingredients: Servings: 4-6
1 Bay Leaf
1 Star Anise piece
½ Carrot, peeled
1 C Water
1 C White Wine
1/8 C Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ C EVOO
4 Basil Leaves
1 Cauliflower Head
¼ C Granulated Sugar
¼ C Salt
Additional Salt & Pepper as Needed
1. Preheat your oven to 300˚F & trim some of the fat cap from the brisket. Cut it into smaller portions if necessary to fit your pot, then season it with salt & pepper.
2. Sear the brisket on all sides in a hot, oiled frying pan – just long enough to brown the surface.
3. Cut the onion in half. Cut one half into 1” thick wedges. Dice & reserve the other half. Cut the half carrot into 1” thick rounds.
4. Put the bay leaf, star anise, water, white wine, carrot rounds, onion wedges and seared brisket in a pot. Heat until the liquid reaches a boil, then put a lid on the pot and transfer it to the oven.
5. Braise the brisket until it’s tender (approximately 4 hours, though that may vary depending on how it’s been cut).
6. While the beef is braising, remove the zest from the lemon using a peeler. Slice it into thin strips. Put the strips in a bowl with the quarter cups of salt & sugar, then stir gently to mix everything together. Let sit for 1 hour, then remove the zest strips and rinse any salt & pepper off of them.
7. Squeeze the juice from the lemon & reserve.
8. When the brisket is tender, remove it from the pot and put it on a plate to rest, loosely covered with foil. Strain and reserve the braising liquid. Increase your oven’s set temperature to 350˚F.
9. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the florets until they’re almost cooked (but not quite tender). Rinse the florets in cold water to stop them continuing to cook.
10. Dry off the cauliflower and put it in a frying pan with some oil. Saute the florets until they start to brown, then move them to the oven to roast until they’re well browned on all sides.
11. Move the cauliflower pan back to the stove top, add the minced onion, and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the rice wine vinegar, and simmer to evaporate it.
12. Add the lemon zest, braising liquid and lemon juice. Simmer briefly, then add the extra virgin olive oil.
13. Thinly slice the brisket & the basil leaves.
14. Serve the brisket with the cauliflower side dish, sprinkled with the basil leaves.