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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” (Melody Beattie in Summer Secrets by Jane Green).

This simple meal certainly felt like a great feast when enjoyed with family, gathered around the fire at the end of a long day.


beer braised brisket with onion jam

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

6 garlic cloves, minced

olive oil, divided

1 (4 1/2-pound) brisket roast

4 cups beef stock

1 (12-ounce) beer

3 onions, cut in half and then sliced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Heat oven to 325F.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil in an enameled cast-iron dish, and place over medium high heat.

Combine 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, cumin, black pepper, smoked paprika and garlic cloves in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of oil. Rub salt mixture evenly over beef. Place in enameled cast-iron dish, and brown on all sides.

Combine stock and beer, pour over beef. Cover and bake at 325F for 6 to 8 hours or until tender, turning half way through cooking.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add onions, saute for 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cook for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar, sugar and cornstarch, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and thyme. Serve with beef.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, December 2013