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I continue to LOVE my pressure cooker.  While I do not use it everyday, I am amazed at what is can do when I do use it.  My most recent culinary success came after reading this recipe on Tasting Table.  I had been eager to try a dish typically cooked low and slow in my pressure cooker, and this seemed like a great place to start.  I did not have much experience with brisket prior to this, but when I have cooked it in the past, it takes HOURS in the oven, and if you smoked it, it would take even longer.  This recipe cooks in ONE hour.  While that may not be as quick as many weeknight recipes, it is certainly a huge improvement from cooking it all day.  I guess that you could put this in a crockpot, however, my cheap crockpot manages to overcook everything I put in there, and I loved that this brisket held its shape yet was still tender and moist.

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OK – there are a few things that take a while.  First, you have to brine this overnight which means planning but it also means no prep for the meat once it is time to cook.  The sauce is easy to assemble, and I will admit that I did not have any star anise pods so I used a little Chinese Five Spice.  The flavor in the sauce it so unique and succulent that I would recommend saving the left over sauce to serve of grilled chicken and rice.  I removed all the fat from the top of the brisket.  You don’t need it for the pressure cooker – another upside!

Don’t skip the brine stage – I think it is critical to this dish.  Oh, you can skip the cream and hominy side.  While it is tasty, it is insanely caloric and rich, and the meat and sauce were fine on their own over some brown rice.

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Happy New Year!

Recipe (from Tasting Table)

Brisket with Gravy and Grainy Mustard Hominy

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Water, 4 cups

Light brown sugar, ¾ cup (lightly packed)

Kosher salt, ½ cup plus ½ teaspoon, divided

Brown mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon

Dried bay leaf, 1

Ice water, 4 cups

Beef brisket, 2 pounds (trimmed of fat)

Unsalted butter, 6 tablespoons

Sweet onion (such as a Vidalia), 1 large (halved and thinly sliced)

Star anise pods, 2

Tomato paste, ½ cup

Beef stock or broth, 2½ quarts (10 cups)

Heavy cream, 2 cups

Whole-grain mustard, ¼ cup

White hominy, one 16-ounce can (drained)

DIRECTIONS1. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, bring to a boil the:

  • Water
  • Light brown sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • Brown mustard seeds
  • Bay leaf

Use the wooden spoon to stir occasionally. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved, turn off the heat and add the:

  • Ice water

Immediately pour into a large bowl or airtight container. Once the ice is melted and the mixture is cool, add the brisket, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day, remove the brisket from the brine (discard the brine) and set the brisket aside. In a pressure cooker set over medium-high heat, add:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Once melted, add the:

  • Sliced onion
  • Star anise

Cook, using the wooden spoon to stir frequently, until the onions are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the:

  • Tomato paste

Once incorporated into the onion mixture, add the:

  • Beef stock
  • Reserved brisket

Place the lid on the pressure cooker and twist to lock shut. Bring the pressure cooker up to full pressure, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Turn off the heat, release the heat from the pressure cooker and set aside for 20 minutes.

3. In the medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the:

  • Heavy cream
  • Whole-grain mustard

Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the:

  • Hominy

Season with the remaining:

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

4. After ensuring that all of the pressure has been released from the pressure cooker, open the lid and use tongs and a slotted spoon to transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Loosely tent the brisket with aluminum foil to keep it warm.

5. Use a large spoon to skim off any fat from the top of the braising liquid. Bring the braising liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and use a ladle to transfer 2 cups to a blender. While blending, incorporate in small amounts the remaining:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Add a little at a time until the sauce is emulsified. Slice the brisket against the grain and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with the sauce and serve the hominy on the side.

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