Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stupid easy food for a (small) crowd

Tonight's Menu

  • oven-cooked beef brisket
  • whole-grain tortilla chips w/bottled salsa
  • coleslaw
Hey, so tomorrow is my birthday and today we had my parents over to celebrate. Which presented a TINY conundrum -- I don't really feel like I should HAVE to cook on my birthday, but throwing that duty to DH kind of stresses him out since he only cooks dinner maybe three times a year. (Which is fine; we divide our labor this way ON PURPOSE because I like to cook. Just not on my birthday.)

So, I wanted to feed everyone, but I didn't want to go to any real TROUBLE about it, you know? Which is why this particular thrown-together dinner was perfect! Ten minutes of work early in the day, and then all I had to do was slice the meat and throw a bunch of stuff on the table. Yay!

For the brisket, I made a dry rub of brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and dry mustard. Just dump and stir -- way easy. I rubbed this all over both sides of the brisket, then put it fat-side-up on a rack in a roasting pan. I filled the bottom of the pan with water, covered it tightly with heavy-duty foil, and stuck it in the oven at around 10:00 a.m., while my coffee was brewing. It cooked unattended at 200 degrees F for about 7 hours, then I uncovered it and boosted the heat up to 400 for about 15 minutes to crisp up the fat. Sliced thinly across the grain, it was fork tender and delicious!

The coleslaw was the usual -- shredded cabbage tossed with a mixture of mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar and celery seeds. I made this earlier in the day, too, and just stuck it in the fridge. Easy!

Here's the timeline for this incredibly easy meal:
  • At least 6 hours before serving time, prepare the brisket w/rub and stick it in the oven.
  • Make coleslaw and stick that in the fridge.
  • Welcome birthday party guests, open presents, play a couple of cutthroat games of In A Pickle and Skip-Bo. (Assuming it's your birthday, that is.)
  • 20 minutes before dinnertime, uncover the brisket and turn up the heat for 15 minutes.
  • Take brisket out of oven and let rest.
  • Break out the coleslaw, chips and salsa.
  • Slice the brisket thinly across the grain and serve.
  • Follow up with birthday cake, if you can manage it!

1 comment:

wosnes said...

Brisket has become one of my favorite things to make. There's so much that can be done with the leftovers. I wish I'd had your ideas about feeding picky kids 20+ years ago. Shoot, I wish I'd had the ideas I have NOW about feeding them!