With fear of repeating myself, I am trying with all my might not to start with post by saying how much I love my slow cooker. But it’s true. As well as using it for soups and stews in the winter, my favourite use of it is for slow cooking brisket.
Brisket is a fatty cut of beef which, while generally quite tough, turns tender when cooked over a long period of time. The flavour is deep, the meat is rich and falls apart at the slightest touch.
Cooked in a smoky barbeque or chipotle sauce, it’s great for Texan-style pulled beef sandwiches. I often drown a slab it in diced tomatoes to make a deliciously moreish Bolognese sauce, but this time I wanted to try something a little different.
I found a portion of frozen pumpkin soup in the depth of my freezer and thought it was an opportune moment to get some experimentation underway.
The flavour of my soup was fresh and cooling; laced with dried limes and cumin seeds so I wanted the meat to be spicy in contrast. I coated the meat in a dry rub of dried herbs, curry powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger and lots of black pepper and set it to one side.
Next, I diced an onion into the thinnest slithers I could manage and crushed a couple of cloves of garlic. I threw it all into the crock pot with a glug of oil and nestled my brisket on top, dusting the leftover spices in as well. I coated the meat with my pre-made soup; a little under two cups. As a final touch, I added a homemade stock cube and ½ a cup of water to get the flavours circulating.
After leaving it to stew all day, I pulled the meat apart with two forks and added half a red pepper, thinly sliced. Starting with a bed of roasted new potatoes, I added a layer of shredded spinach and topped with a heaped serving of brisket and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. The heat of the meat cooks the spinach slightly, without wilting it beyond recognition so the dish didn’t come across as too heavy which is great for any hearty meal when it’s not winter!