One of things that was so hard for me to get hammered into my head when I moved here was that Lunch is actually called Dinner. In the famous words of my brother in law- Lunch is what his kids eat at school, Dinner is what you eat when your on the farm. Or at least on our farm anyway. It took me the longest time to stop saying "lunch" and start saying "dinner", not to mention the fact of trying to get it across to my Indiana family. After three years of being in South Dakota I think I just about have it down!
We do something a little unique on our farm. There are three wives, so each week we take a week of cooking. This could mean just one meal at noon, or a meal at noon as well as sandwiches later on in the evening, depending on the season. Last summer I started cooking and then took a break while I was teaching. I now have officially taken over for my mother in law when it comes to the weekly rotations of cooking. She has been an official "cook" for so long I am afraid she might disown me if I say the actual years! So I naturally have taken over her week of cooking since I have completed the family as the last wife to be added into the picture, plus I think she was ready for a break!
I plan my week of cooking about a week in advance, mainly so I can plan accordingly- grocery shopping, baking, and making sure my husband okay's everything on my menu! (He is quite the picky eater) I enjoy cooking, although sometimes it can be frustrating. You see when you become a farm wife you quickly look to prepare for every possible outcome, and then some. Sometimes you will plan for 4 people to cook for, and have 6 show up. Other times you will plan for 6 people have only 1 show up. Or, at about 11:40, twenty minutes to noon, your husband will call and say....we aren't coming, is there anyway you can bring sandwiches to us? Even though you made spaghetti for dinner. Trust me, it happens. And you have to put on your farm wife smile and say "Yes Dear..."
This week was my week to cook and I found a favorite with the guys the last time I cooked so I decided to do a repeat performance so I could get some pictures of the recipe to include in this post. I have found a great recipe for beef brisket and I have a feeling this will be my "go to" recipe for dinner parties or if I am not coming up with any good ideas for the week.
Beef brisket is from the front of the cow, between the front legs. It can be a tough piece of meat if not cooked properly. Since this piece of meat is tough it requires a slow, moist, cooking method. Which means it needs to be cooked slowly and wet...in a broth or a marinade. I could really do a whole blog on cooking different types of meats (One of my favorite lessons to teach!).
2 cans of beef broth
1 1/2 cups of soy sauce
Juice of 2 lemons
5-6 Tablespoons of minced garlic (Depends on your love of garlic...I use 3!)
2-3 Table spoon of liquid smoke (Depends on your love of BBQ flavors...I use 3!)
7-10 ounce beef brisket
Should look something like this:
I actually throw in a few splashes of Tabasco once I got to the end product. But shhh, don't tell the guys!
Mix all of that together in a roasting pan. And plop the brisket right in the middle, fat side up. I use a Paula Deen roasting pan that my husband bought me for Christmas last year. I love it! Using a measuring spoon, take some of the broth and pour it over the brisket.
Before I even go any further with this... My brisket may not look like the one you would buy at the grocery store. Ours is from one of our own beef cows and I tell the butcher to not worry about making it perfectly cut and trimmed because I can take care of trimming it down if I need to. When you buy meat at the grocery store a lot of care and time is put into trimming the meat and making it look more appealing to the consumer. The grocery store even packages in certain papers and wraps to make sure it looks appealing to the consumer. Even the meat in the glass case is sitting in a specific place, in specific lighting so there is no mistaking how yummy it looks when you go to do your grocery shopping. I could really do a whole posting on this as well, there is a science behind selling any product, especially meat!
Anyway, cover the pan in foil and place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 24-48 hours. I put this together on Sunday night and cooked it on Tuesday morning.
After marinating, bake the brisket for 40 minutes per pound at 300 F.
I will be honest I have no idea how big this brisket is, as I do not own a kitchen scale...I plan on investing in one eventually. My husband put this brisket in the oven at 5:45 AM when he went to work. It was ready to serve at about 11:00AM.
I sliced the meat in the pan and put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes to let the juices soak up a little more.
I served this brisket with mashed potatoes and a yummy loaf of garlic bread. I was hoping I would have some left overs of the meat so that tomorrow I could make a french dip with the meat and broth (Special request of my brother in law). However, like last time I cooked this dish I only have a small bit left, not nearly enough to make another meal for tomorrow!
Normally I try and get a few other vegetables in there for variety and nutritional value, but the guys were all having a busy day and the six of us plan on going out tonight for supper in Sioux Falls for Texas Roadhouse, and they all agree that eating two big meals in one day does bad things for their figures! :)
|My husband who always smiles for the camera even though he really doesn't want to!|
|In order to get them to participate in my pictures I promised I would not show their faces!|
You would never guess my sister in law is a professional photographer with how shy all our husbands are when you bring out the camera!
Anyway, that is my recipe for today. I give credit to Pioneer Woman, but I did add a bit more of some ingredients and substituted one for another. But, you should definitely check out her website....it is very farmer friendly!
My bit of advice when cooking, don't be afraid to experiment and add to recipes and take out. I am constantly writing in recipe books to make notes that I added things and took out some things.
Today I felt pretty bad serving brisket because I served that 2 weeks ago when I cooked, however, my brother in law informed me that it was fine..."You can cook the same 5 things every time you cook for us...as long as they are 5 really good things, of course."
So, moral of the story...When it doubt- find 5 things you are really good at cooking and stick with it!