This week's ingredient was Coca-Cola, the wine of the South. I have consumed my fair share of Cokes over the years but I have never done more than pour it over ice or add it to ice cream to make a float. In my humble opinion, Coke and chocolate ice cream floats are way better than root beer floats.
Anyways, back to this week's preparation, Atlanta Brisket, beef brisket marinated in Coca-Cola. The recipe for this patriotic meal came from my friend and loyal reader Maya. She is always forwarding me recipes from Tasting Table and Epicurious.
Did you know the Coca-Cola Polar Bear is the CEO of Happiness? Coke was first invented in 1886 by pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton. At that time, carbonated beverages were believed to be health tonics, curing aliments like morphine addiction, headache, and impotence. The secret formula for Coca-Cola was kept in the main vault of the Sun Trust Bank in Atlanta for 86 years. In 2011, it was moved to a vault in the Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta.
From Jean Anderson and Epicurious December 2012
5 pounds fresh beef brisket
2 liter Coca-Cola
3 tbp vegetable oil
2 cups reserved Coca-Cola
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 8oz can salt-free tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3 large yellow onions
3 large bay leaves
Begin By trimming the brisket of excess fat. I lucked out and was able to skip this step thanks to the accommodating butchers at Whole Foods. Once trimmed of fat, place the brisket in a nonreactive roasting pan.
Pans made from copper, steel, and aluminum are reactive while glass, stainless steel, and enamel are all nonreactive. Nonreactive pans should be used when cooking with acidic or alkaline foods. I put my brisket in a 9 by 13 glass baking dish.
Pour the Coke over the brisket and cover. Place the marinating brisket in the fridge for 24 hours, turning once halfway through.
Once finished marinating, remove the brisket from the Coke and pat dry with paper towels. Save 2 cups of the Coke for the sauce. To make the sauce simply mix the tomato sauce, onion soup mix, and ketchup into the reserved Coke.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, high heat. While the oil is heating, season the dried brisket with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, sear the brisket on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. My pan was not large enough to sear an entire side of the brisket in one go so I did each side in two stages. The brisket was heavy and a bit awkward to maneuver so 2 pairs of tongs and a person to help turn the meat is advisable. A pancake griddle might make the searing process easier and faster. However, if considering this method be careful with the amount of oil you put on the griddle. Starting a grease fire is no fun.
Once seared place the brisket in the roasting pan and cover in sauce. Half and slice the onions into 3/8 inch pieces and place on top of the brisket along with the 3 bay leaves.
Cover the pan and bake at 325 for 4 hours. Check the roast once or twice to make sure there is liquid in the pan, if needed poor in some Coke or water. After taking the brisket out of the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve with coleslaw or on a bun as a sandwich. However you chose, it will be tasty. I will be making this brisket again. However, next time I will not bother to line the pan with aluminum foil. I thought lining the pan would make cleanup a breeze, but the sauce ended up getting under the two sheets of foil.