Recipes from the Heart: Brisket With Real Grits

Liz Lapidus, Atlanta’s public relations legend, provided this recipe. A Florida native, the Lapidus name is synonymous with the architectural wonders of Miami Beach. Her grandfather, Morris Lapidus, was the driving force of Miami Beach’s touted architecture, particularly The Fountainbleu Hotel.

Liz Lapidus

“Brisket is my signature dish,” she said. “It’s taken me years to master and requires hours to make, so I reserve it for very special guests. It’s great over mashed potatoes, parsnip puree or grits – anything that will sop up the sauce.” Liz recomends Chef Scott Peacock’s recipe for grits.

 

Ingredients

5 lb. Brisket
1 Onion, chopped
3 Carrots, chopped
2 Stalks of celery, chopped
1 Bottle red wine (good enough to drink)
1 16-oz can whole tomatoes
1 head garlic peeled
2 Bay leaves
2 stalks rosemary
2 T Olive oil
Salt/Pepper
Gremolata (handful of chopped parsley, zest of one lemon, one clove of garlic finely chopped)

Brisket is both timely and delicious.

Rub the brisket generously with salt/pepper. Heat the olive oil in a hot heavy bottomed roasting pan on high. Sear the brisket on both sides for about 10 minutes. Remove the brisket and sauté the carrots, onion and celery in the roasting pan, scraping up the brown bits, for another 10 minutes. Add the brisket back (fat side up) with the rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, wine and tomatoes (crushing the tomatoes in your hands as you add them to the pan). The liquid should come halfway up the side of the brisket. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and braise for about five hours (in the oven, on the stovetop or in a slow cooker). Brisket is a tough and unforgiving piece of meat, and you can’t cook it for too long as long as it’s on low and you have plenty of liquid. In fact, you’re cooking it for so long that you really don’t need the sear or to sautee the vegetables. Remove from heat, let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, and put it in the fridge until about an hour before you serve it. Brisket is easier to slice when it’s cold, so you want to wait until you take it off of the fridge to slice it (against the grain). Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stalks and skim the fat with a spatula. Then puree the liquid and aromatics into a sauce. Put the sliced brisket back in the roasting pan and pour the sauce over the sliced brisket and reheat on low covered.

This is a super rich dish and gremolata is a great way to brighten the flavor. How much of each ingredient to use? Adjust to your taste. Sprinkle over the brisket as you serve.

 

Classic Southern Grits

Chef Scott Peacock’s venerable dish.

Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis, authors of The Gift of Southern Cooking, take a dim view of fancy ingredients added to grits. “People should really leave grits alone,” advised Ms. Lewis.

 

What You Need

Heavy-Bottomed Saucepan

Mixing Bowl

Fine Strainer

Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups water, or more
2 cups milk, or more
1 cup stone-ground or regular grits
kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Instructions

Heat the 2 cups water and milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until just simmering.

While the milk is heating, put the stone-ground grits into a large mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Stir the grits assertively so that the chaff floats to the top. Skim the surface carefully and remove the chaff. Drain the grits in a fine strainer. (If you are using regular grits, skip this step.) Stir grits into the simmering water and milk. Cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender to the bite and have thickened to the consistency of thick oatmeal. As the grits thicken, stir them more often to keep them from sticking and scorching. Regular grits are done in about 20 minutes, but stone-ground require an hour or a little more to cook, and you will have to add additional milk and water as needed.

Season the grits generously with salt and stir in the cream and butter. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, until serving. Serve hot.

 

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. www.thegourmethighway.com | doclawrence@mindspring.com

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