At the risk of sounding like the whore of Chrismukkah, my dear friend Chris and I started off as lovers – he put the Chris in my mukkah, if you will – which makes me extremely thankful, a little surprised and at the same time disappointed, that none of the cast fought over me on set.
Our love quickly blossomed when he guested on my dear friend Amy Sedaris’ classic Stranger’s with Candy but after a few torrid months we realised we were better off as friends and parted ways.
A few years later and fresh out of rehab, I wanted to show him how much I had grown and how mature I now was and pushed for him to be welcomed to The O.C.
Despite being the first to leave the series, Chris’ career went from strength to strength co-starring in the hit Amanda Bynes film Love Wrecked, the TV movie Beauty & the Briefcase, an episode of Desperate Housewives and more recently, a starring role in Nashville.
Which is actually good.
Given his commitments to the latter, Chris and I haven’t been able to spend much time together lately. It was such a treat to reconnect and get the inside scoop on what will become of Rayna and her hair … and celebrate the more -mukkah side of Chrismukkah with my Braised Briskarmack.
To be honest, I have no idea if this meal comes close to being kosher … but I assume if you’re celebrating a hybrid holiday, you probably aren’t too staunch on eating kosher. I did avoid cooking the delicate brisket and sweet, creamy mushrooms together though.
That counts for something, right? RIGHT?
Oy – enjoy!
10 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1.5kg beef brisket
a couple each of celery stalks, onions and carrots, roughly chopped\
2 cups red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
small handful of parsley
small bunch of thyme, a few sprigs reserved for the mushrooms
500g button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup beef stock
3 tbsp horseradish cream
½ cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Place half the garlic and all the rosemary in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and crush until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, combine with a generous lug of oil and rub over both sides of the brisket.
Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sear either side of the meat for a few minutes. Chuck in the veggies, wine, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir gently to combine.
Place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven, baking for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so to ensure there is enough liquid and to keep the meat covered – which I rarely would support. Once the meat is tender, transfer it to a board and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
While it is resting, get to work on the mushrooms by heating a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the remaining garlic – which you will have minced but I forgot to tell you – mushrooms and the leaves from the extra thyme sprigs and cook for about five minutes, or until browned and soft. Add the stock, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about ten minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the horseradish, sour cream and cooking liquid and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.
Slice the brisket into diagonal slices and serve with some latkes, topped with the mushrooms.
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