I wish I could say that every time I step into the kitchen, I make magic. But not every experiment is a successful one.

Himself bought some Magner’s cider a while back and decided he didn’t like it. We brought the remaining 4 bottles to Arisia where they didn’t get drunk. Someone suggested I use it to make cholent*, but I don’t make it often enough to justify using the cider. But I thought that it might make a good braising liquid for brisket.

So I bought a smallish brisket, seared it the way I normally do, deglazed the pan with cider, added some garlic and sliced onions and another bottle of cider, and put it in the oven at 200 to braise for a couple of hours. Afterwards I took it out and sliced it. I seemed a little tough, but I figured I’d braise it some more the next day, and it would spend some time in a 200 degree on Shabbat.

When we sat down to lunch today, the brisket was still tough**. I have no idea what went wrong, but I suspect that for such a thin liquid as cider, the meat needed to cook at a higher temperature. Next time I’ll mix the second bottle with some of my usual brisket braise (ketchup, brown sugar, some form of vinegar) and cook it at 350 for a hour before dropping the heat down. And then no more Magner’s.




*Slow cooked beef stew with potatoes, barley and often beans. Himself is not a big fan, so I don’t make it too much.

**We’ve been reading a lot of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with Monster lately.


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