I love the kind of recipe that we are sharing with you today. You do about 20 minutes of prep work early in the day, pop your dish in the oven and then basically forget about it for a few hours. Right before you eat you throw together an easy side dish, add a salad and dinner is ready. I put this in the oven before we left for church on Sunday and when we got home a couple of hours later the house smelled heavenly.
I’ve cooked a lot of briskets in my married life and I find it to be one of the most unpredictable dishes. I can make a Brisket one day and it will turn out fantastic and the next time I make the same recipe it tastes like shoe leather! Sometimes Dan will throw it on the Weber and smoke it, but most of the time I use my oven. I will often leave it in the oven longer than I said in the recipe. I think it just takes some briskets longer to get tender. Just leave plenty of time for it to cook, it only gets better as it sits in the juices. The secret is low and slow and hope for the best!
Braised Coca-Cola Brisket with Parmesan Polenta
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 (3-4 pound) Brisket, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 slices Thick Cut Bacon, minced
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup red wine or beef broth, to deglaze pan
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 cloves
1 (12 ounce) can Coke (Dr. Pepper would work as well)
1 (12 ounce) bottle Chili Sauce
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
In a large Dutch Oven, heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes on each side to sear brisket. Remove brisket from Dutch Oven and set aside. Add the minced bacon to the Dutch Oven and cook over medium heat until brown. When the bacon is brown, remove with a slotted spoon and place with the brisket. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of fat in the Dutch Oven. Add the onions and cook over medium to medium low heat for about 15 minutes, until they are tender and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 -2 minutes until fragrant. Add the red wine or the beef broth to the Dutch Oven to deglaze the pan. Be sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the Dutch Oven. They are full of flavor!
Stir in the Coke, chili sauce, molasses and liquid smoke. Return the Brisket and the bacon to the pan. Cover and bake in a 325 degree oven for 3 1/2-4 hours or until tender. After about 2 hours I like to remove the brisket from the oven and turn the brisket over. When it has been in the oven for 3 ½ hours check the brisket with 2 forks. When you pull it apart it should be very tender, if not, place back in the oven and keep checking it every 30 minutes until tender. Let Brisket rest in pan for 15 minutes or so. Remove the brisket from the pan and slice brisket across the grain and return to the cooking liquid.
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Instant Polenta
¼ cup whole milk or ½ and ½
3 tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Bring the Chicken Broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the Polenta for a few minutes, stirring until it thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk (or ½ and ½), butter and grated Parmesan Cheese.
Serve with braised Brisket.