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Rigatoni With Braised Beef Brisket

Rigatoni With Braised Beef Brisket

Serves 8

  • 1 (3-pound) Certified Piedmontese brisket
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1½ cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons parsley stems
  • 1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 quart beef stock (or substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 8 ounces rigatoni
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Chanterelle Mushrooms

  • 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt to taste

Season the brisket generously with the salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. It should be very hot before you add the oil. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. The oil should begin smoking instantly. Carefully, using tongs, place the brisket in the Dutch oven. Once it is in the pan for about thirty seconds, adjust it so that as much surface area is exposed to the heat as possible. If the brisket is too large, cut it in half. Do not crowd the pan or you will not get a good sear.

Once the first side of the brisket has a golden brown sear, carefully turn it over to sear the other side. Once both sides are seared, remove the brisket from the pan and reserve.

Using the same pot/Dutch oven, sear the vegetables. If you need to add more oil to coat the bottom of the Dutch oven, add more now. Add the carrots, celery, onions, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, and sear them until golden brown. Do not move the vegetables around too much or they will not be correctly caramelized. Once the vegetables are golden brown, drain any excess oil, leaving the vegetables in the pan. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until just before the tomato paste burns. Next add the red wine. Using the wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan and continue stirring until the wine is almost dry. Return the brisket to the pan, add the herbs and garlic, and cover with beef or chicken stock. Slowly bring the liquid to a simmer. Skim the impurities and excess fat off the top. Turn the heat down to a low simmer; cover the Dutch oven and cook for 3 to 3½ hours, or until the brisket is very tender.

Once the brisket is tender, cool it down in its cooking liquid until very cold. Once cold, remove the brisket from the gelatinized liquid and cut it into bite sized cubes. Meanwhile, reheat the cooking liquid, strain out the vegetables, and gently simmer the cooking liquid until it has reduced by half. While it is reducing, using a ladle, skim off any impurities that rise to the top and discard. Combine the cleaned, reduced cooking liquid and the cubed brisket and keep warm.

For The Mushrooms

Using a paring knife, scrape the stems of the mushrooms to remove any dirt or sand. Once the stems have been cleaned, place the mushrooms in the basket of a salad spinner and cover with water. Once submerged, carefully move them around to remove any other dirt or sand. Drain the water and repeat until the water runs clear. Once clean, allow the mushrooms to dry on a rack over a sheet tray.

When the mushrooms are dry, gently cook the chanterelles in a pot with ¾-quart of chicken stock, butter, fresh thyme, and salt to taste until tender, about five to six minutes. Strain the mushrooms and reserve.

To Serve

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the directions on the bag. Taste the pasta to make sure it is al dente and then strain the pasta, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water. If you prefer a thinner sauce, or if the cooking liquid from the brisket has become too dry, you can use this pasta water to thin it out. Place the cooked pasta into the pot with the braised brisket and mushrooms. Add a ½ cup of butter and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Using a ladle to give equal portions, divide the pasta with the braised brisket into eight bowls. Garnish the dish with whole flat parsley leaves and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.

Pairing: Montevertine "Montevertine" 2009. Old school, Old World Sangiovese like Montevertine's flagship wine is definitely more on the earthy, dry end, which suits the mushrooms very well. A non-Italian alternative could be a Bandol red such as Domaine Tempier.