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Braised Brisket & Roots

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 pounds brisket, trim most of the fat off

3 medium onions, peeled and sliced

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 3/4 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 bay leaves

1 cup dry vermouth, or dry white wine

3 cups beef broth

4 medium carrots, peeled

3 medium parsnips, peeled

1 medium rutabaga, (about 3/4 pound), peeled

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons arrowroot, or 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1-2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add brisket and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

Add onions to the pot; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in allspice, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and bay leaves, then pour in vermouth (or wine). Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in broth and return the brisket to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cut carrots, parsnips and rutabaga into 2- by 1/2-inch sticks.

Transfer brisket to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard bay leaves. Stir mustard into the sauce. Add the carrots, parsnips and rutabaga. Return the brisket to the pot; cover and bake for 1 hour more.

Test vegetables and brisket for tenderness by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife. As they get done, transfer to a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and set aside. If necessary, continue to cook, testing for doneness every 20 minutes. Total cooking time for the brisket may range from 2 1/2 to 5 hours, depending on the particular piece of meat.

Skim fat from the sauce. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce and intensify flavors. Dissolve arrowroot in 1 tablespoon water (or cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water); add to the simmering sauce and cook, stirring constantly, just until thickened, about 10 seconds.

Slice the brisket thinly against the grain and arrange slices on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables around the brisket. Spoon half the sauce over the meat and vegetables; pass remaining sauce separately.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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