Fall weather is finally here, and that means easy, warm and comforting dishes. Grass-fed beef is all the rage, and it’s a good thing it’s getting easier to find these days. Check out this Charlotte Magazine article about the virtues of grass-fed beef, featuring several of our local grass-fed beef farmers. Raising grass-fed beef is better for the cattle (they naturally eat grass, not grain and additives) and healthier for you since it’s higher in Omega-3 fatty acids. North Carolina does not produce a lot of beef compared to other states, so we sure are lucky to have so many local grass-fed choices. Not only can you get the beef directly from the farmers at your local farmers’ markets, but retailers are starting to carry the products, too. Hillbilly Produce Market on Hwy. 74 (Independence Blvd.) sells Baucom’s Best, and The Meat House in Ballantyne sells Proffitt Family Farms beef.
Charlotte Fresh has been into brisket lately. I’ve made this recipe a few times in the last few weeks, it’s so good. The added coffee grounds make it unique. Harriett Baucom of Baucom’s Best shared a recipe that she received from Chef Joe Bonaparte, and I have adapted it here with the addition of apples. You can smoke this brisket over hickory chips after roasting and add barbecue sauce if you like.
Fresh Recipe: Brisket with Apples
You’ll need to plan at least a day ahead. Serves 8-10.
- 1 half beef brisket (about 5 lbs.)
- 1 sweet onion, chopped coarsely
- 2 apples, cored and sliced – try Gold Rush or Golden Delicious varieties
- 1 12 oz. bottle of good dark beer
- 1/4 cup ground coffee
- 1/4 cup chili powder (not hot)
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1/2 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Tbs thyme – if you use fresh you can use more
- 1/2 Tbs sage
- 1/2 Tbs rosemary
- 1/2 Tbs celery seeds
- 1/2 Tbs chives, chopped
Mix up the ingredients for the rub. Rub the brisket, wrap it up and let it sit overnight.
Heat the oven to 225 degrees.
Scatter onions and apples the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to hold the meat. Season the brisket with salt. (Don’t season it with salt the night before; it pulls
the moisture out.)
Place the brisket fat side up on top of the onions and apples. Add a bottle of beer and cold water to the pan until there is about 1/2 to 1-inch of liquid.
Lay a piece of parchment paper over the meat, so it covers the entire surface of the meat and liquid. Cover the pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. Slow roast in the oven at 225 degrees for about 8 hours. Use a fork to see if the brisket is very tender. Let it rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Carve and serve topped with the apples and onions.