January 2014 | chicago foodie girl


When A Brisket Meets A Ninja

*Guest post by chicago foodie girl contributor, Diana

Hello fellow foodies!  Long time no see! Happy belated New Year and all of that other fun stuff. I hope the holidays were happy and healthy for everyone.

Let's get down to some cooking business, but before I do that I first have to begin by thanking the lovely folks at Euro Pro, makers of the Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System for the lovely gift bestowed upon me well over a year ago (oops!).

If you're unfamiliar with the Ninja, it's a slow cooker on a whole new level. It's a slow cooker, stovetop, and oven all in one, and I just absolutely love it! You can sear and slow cook your meat all in the same pot. It bakes, too! Click here for some great demo videos.

I've made stews, soups and pot roasts in the Ninja, but this past weekend I made an ah-mazing brisket that I just can't seem to stop talking about! It took ten hours to cook and it was well worth the wait. I actually woke up at 4am on a Sunday to throw it all together so we'd have in time for lunch later that day. Talk about dedication!

Here's the recipe, scroll past for details and pics!

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe
(Recipe courtesy of Chow.com)
For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the brisket:
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 (5-pound) beef brisket

1. Place all of the barbecue sauce ingredients in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine.

2. Place all of the measured brisket ingredients except the brisket in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

3. Place the brisket on a cutting board and cut it in half widthwise. Evenly coat it with the spice rub and place the 2 brisket pieces in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until fork-tender, about 10 hours.

4. Transfer the brisket to a clean cutting board. Pour the barbecue sauce from the slow cooker into a medium heatproof bowl and set it aside.

5. Remove the excess fat from the brisket and discard it. Slice the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and return it to the slow cooker. (Alternatively, you can shred the meat with 2 forks.)

6. Use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the barbecue sauce. Return the sauce to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine it with the meat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

If you know me, I'm always doctoring up recipes, but I refused to this time around. The only thing I omitted was the cayenne pepper (I'm a spice wimp) and adjusted the salt for the rub since I didn't have kosher salt. I had fine sea salt, so I cut it down to about a teaspoon, perhaps a little bit more, and it worked out perfectly. I also planned to ask the butcher to cut most of the fat layer from the brisket, but Whole Foods had them already trimmed up in the display case, which was a big plus.

Here's some eye candy:

 This was around hour five, brisket pieces playing nice in the pool. I also flipped the pieces over every couple of hours so it would cook all the way around in the sauce.



A New Year

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a fabulous Chrismahanukwanzakah (I'm a firm advocate of celebrating everything, as more holidays = more friends, food, and fun drinks!) and a fabulous start to 2014. As per usual, I spent the first two weeks of my winter break pretending as though I don't actually have any responsibilities (it was all parties, middle of the day drinks, baking, and DVR catch-up sessions); however, the time has come to put the finishing touches on my syllabi and to officially start stressing about getting up at 5AM in the frigid weather (uggggh).

Here's a bit of what happened during the last few weeks...

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