Thursday, 18 July 2013
... so without trying to sound like i'm blowing my own trumpet this is the kind of dish that if there was any justice in the world, will become the latest food fad internet sensation... it's the kind of mind-blowing rare taste that get foodie types super-excited... like the humble hamburger or basic donut, this is a hugely simple dish that teases you whilst you're cooking it to the point of damnation and with any luck, after reading the wonderful story behind the dish i'll be able to persuade you to cook it for your selves... but beware, this is a very old family recipe and may not be to modern taste... you may hate it... but I doubt it very much...
... my great aunt regina was a remarkable woman... as a teenager she escaped from the jewish ghetto in warsaw just before the outbreak of the second world war and walked to paris where she became something of a notorious figure in our family history, helping many people escape the evil nazi regime into france and out of mainland europe altogether... most of her family perished in the concentration camps but she lived on and it's because of her survival I owe my existance.
... during the war there was little if any meat to speak of and where it was available it was usually the cheapest cuts, no doubt rancid but still much needed... this dish, which has been handed down through our family must have had its influences in both france and poland but I imagine the great amount of garlic was probably to mask the smell of the meat... it was hard times.
auntie regina's 12 hour garlic beef
so you need to find a cheap cut of beef, the skirt would have been traditionally used but a nice piece of brisket would work just as well... anything you'd normally use for a slow roast... you will also need a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid and an oven that has a low, non-fan setting of 80C... this dish can often go wrong if you don't follow the steps but you know your own oven better than me, plus i'm giving you a 'word of mouth' recipe, nothing was ever written down like this so don't be slavish to my rules either... relax into it all and enjoy the process.
I made this for 6 guests:
1 cut of brisket (approx 900g)
1 large garlic bulb (roughly 15 cloves) - peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons sea/kosher/rock salt
1 glass red wine (optional - read on...)
you need 24hrs to make this dish
start the evening before you want to eat by rubbing the beef with the crushed garlic and salt, place it in a bowl, cover with cling-film and leave to marinade until the morning
the next morning, if you want to eat at 8pm then at 8am place the marinated beef in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, pour over the wine (this is not in the original recipe but I think much needed) place the lid on tightly (you can even use a little foil too if unsure) and place in an oven on 80C (no fan) for 12 hours
after 11 hours your house should be filled the most incredible fug of garlic beef... take it out of the oven and set aside, still in the covered dish whilst you make your choice of starchy side dishes or salads, then once you're ready to eat place the beef on a wooden board, shred and serve
you will not regret it and you will eat and of course, enjoy!