Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The day of brisket

This moving business affects areas of life that you wouldn't think of at first. It's because we're moving that I have spent all afternoon dealing with a giant beef brisket. Why? Well, it's because of a little mistake a made a while back. When you buy a side of beef, you then must have a conversation with the butcher as to how the beef will be cut and wrapped. The butcher we used for the last batch asked me a question I had never been asked before, which is my defense as to how I have ended up in this situation. The question was, "Would you like your brisket cut in half?"

Now, we have quite a few mouths to feed, and as I thought about all the briskets I'd received in the past, I thought, no, I don't want one of those cut in half. It wouldn't feed all of us. So, I said to leave it whole. You can imagine my surprise when we picked-up the beef to discover this.


This whole brisket spans nearly the entire length of my six burner stove. It is big. This also explains why it has been languishing in the bottom of my freezer for a long time. Because it's big, I wanted to cut it in two and have two briskets. But then I have two thawed briskets because oddly enough I don't have a kitchen chainsaw to cut the brisket frozen. And two thawed briskets was always one more than I really wanted to deal with, so the whole big thing sat in the freezer.

As I think about moving, I'm realizing that the smaller amount of freezer food I have the better. We are on the last bits of our last side of beef, but there was this brisket still hanging about. I decided that since we didn't have anything going on this afternoon, and since we were yet to be deep in the throws of panicked packing, that today would be a good day to deal with the brisket. On Saturday, I took it out of the freezer and put it in the downstairs refrigerator to thaw.

I've seen turkeys thaw faster.




It's a good thing B. was around to act as butcher for me, because I'm not sure I would have been able to hack through the still pretty well frozen brisket. Yeah for strong 21 year old sons.

One half of the brisket is currently baking on a bed of caramelized sweet onions with a sauce composed of chicken broth, dark beer, and chili sauce. It smells pretty wonderful. We'll have this Thursday night since the whole brisket-shtick is that it needs to be cooled, sliced, and reheated.


The other half is currently brining in a pickling mixture in the downstairs refrigerator to be made into corned beef. For the next five days, I have to remember to go down and turn the brisket twice a day. That's OK, the quail eggs are about to go into lock down and I won't have to mess with them anymore until the hatch. I'll just switch my twice daily turning ritual to brisket instead.


It should be done on Monday, and then we'll have Reuben sandwiches. Ironically, no brisket will be eaten tonight. Instead I threw some chicken in the crock pot and we'll have that over noodles.

So, I can now check 'deal with brisket' off the moving list. The other beef left still are several filet steaks. I see no problem with using those up. In fact, I have been hoarding them just a bit to make them last. By the time mid-June rolls around, the freezers should be mighty empty.

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