Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes 2" - Bourbon-Mustard Brisket (Crock Pot)

Date I made this recipe: December 25, 2010

Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes 2 by Sandra Lee
Published by: Meredith Books
ISBN: 978-0-696-23815-4
Recipe: Bourbon-Mustard Brisket – p. 162

The other day, one of my best friends and I had a small disagreement about my math skills. When I said (yet again) that math was not my strong suit, she got mad and said she was tired of me saying that I didn’t do well at math. Based on her observations, my math was fine.

Yes, well, I hate to disappoint you honey, but this recipe showcases why I went to law school instead of getting an MBA (no math required!): The cooking time for this brisket was 12-14 hours and somehow I got it in my head that if I put it in by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve that it would be done by 6 p.m. on Christmas Day! “Perfect,” thought I. Six p.m. is a great dinner hour, especially for someone like me who pushes the envelope with 8 p.m. (or later) meals.

For those paying attention, and who can count, you can see where I erred, right? Because there I was, about 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, watching some stupid movie with a stupid plot and a horrible ending when all of a sudden I had a “wait a minute…” moment.

So I counted on my hands (yes, my hands!) and shoot—my roast would not be done by 6 p.m. but rather by 6 a.m.!!!

Well now what was I supposed to do? I contemplated pulling the plug on the crock pot and refrigerating it until morning but was unsure if that was a good thing for the meat or a bad thing and then I thought about waking my husband to discuss (because unlike me, he is really good at math!) and finally decided that since he is an early riser, I’d leave him a note to pull the plug on the meat at 7 a.m. and then I’d deal with it later.

By the time I hauled ass downstairs on Christmas morning, the roast was saved and our house smelled delicious. And I was actually pleased that my meat was done and all that was left was salad and potatoes – like I meant to do that!

More disturbing than my lack of ability to count though, is why Sandra Lee called this book “Semi-Homemade” Slow Cooker Recipes 2? Yes, I know that’s her brand and yes, I know she uses cake mixes in her desserts but this was a slow cooker book for Pete’s sake! What on earth is “semi-homemade” about a slow-cooker recipe? And if the answer is “because she often calls for you to use frozen, chopped onions instead of chopping them yourself, then I call foul: did she expect you to grow the onion yourself in order to change this from “semi”-homemade to “homemade?” Ponder that one for a while, will you?

Lucky for me, my husband and Sandy, nothing else about this recipe was confusing or confounding. You dump the stuff in the crockpot, plug it in and hours later, you look like a regular Julia Child when you pull the sucker out of the pot.

I made some Yukon gold potatoes to go along with this dish, adding a little milk, butter and creamy horseradish. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about for an easy-peasey holiday dinner. So enjoy!

By the way, I am equally challenged by geography and directions. Last week, I dropped a friend off at her home during a snowstorm and promptly got turned around by the directions she gave me for a shortcut home. Long story short, I should have been going toward Minneapolis and ended up in an unfamiliar part of St. Paul. So I called my husband and after giving him the names of a couple of cross streets said “Where the hell am I?!”

Turns out I was close to our state capitol in St. Paul. And the state capitol is great and it certainly was a beautiful beacon through the snowstorm, but it was in the exact opposite direction of where I needed to be. A few turns later, and I was on the right track, crawling through the snow on my way home…during rush hour…oh yeah.

Bourbon-Mustard Brisket – serves 6
2 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced thick
4 pounds beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry
2 teaspoons garlic salt, Lawry’s®
2 teaspoons salt-free lemon pepper, McCormick®
¾ cup spicy brown mustard, Gulden’s®
½ cup honey brown sugar BBQ sauce, Jack Daniels®
¼ cup bourbon
½ cup light brown sugar, C&H®

Place onions in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Season brisket with garlic salt and lemon pepper and place on top of the onion, cutting to fit if necessary.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients and pour in slow cooker over brisket. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 12 to 14 hours.

Strain and defat cooking liquid. Serve as sauce on the side.

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