Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Anise Ginger Garlic Tamari Glaze
Served with Pickled Fennel
Meet a match made in heaven: Lacquered Beef Brisket & Pickled Fennel. Bright tart crisp pickled fennel flavored with star anise and cinnamon marries super-tender slow-cooked brisket brushed with a barely sweet Asian-flavored sauce. Reducing the brisket cooking liquid of beef broth, star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar, and tamari results in an intensely flavored glossy glaze.
The meat is lacquered with the glaze, and it is painted onto the plate. The result is a striking combination of flavor, texture, color, temperature. Everything can be prepared a day or two ahead. A five lb. brisket serves nine, with the cost per serving under four dollars, making this a terrific dish for entertaining.
Pickled Fennel Recipe
- 1 1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 t. black peppercorns
- 2 star anise
- 1 T. pickling spice
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice 2 fennel bulbs.
After simmering 20 minutes, strain the liquid.
Pour hot liquid over sliced fennel. Let dish come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Lacquered Brisket of Beef Recipe
We served Lacquered Brisket of Beef at our Sunken City Supper Club winter event a little while back. Each 5+ lb. brisket makes nine cube servings. After cooking we square off the edges to get a clean shape. (Trimmings are saved to make Asian tacos!)
Season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper. Place meat in roasting dish fat side down. Place under broiler until the meat starts to caramelize. Flip the meat and caramelize the fat side of the brisket. Remove from oven to add cooking liquid and spices.
Add beef stock to come just under half-way up on the meat. Add 1/4 c. low-sodium tamari. Scatter several pieces of sliced ginger, smashed garlic cloves, about 6-8 star anise and 1 1/2 T. sugar in the cooking liquid.
Cover with foil and cook in a 275° oven for at least 8 hours, until the meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Remove foil and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the liquid. Pour liquid into a fat separator. Let stand.
After the fat separates from the sauce. Pour de-fatted sauce into a clean pan and reduce over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to a syrupy consistency.
Take the cold brisket, trim off the ends, and slice into nine cubes. Place cubes back into the roasting pan with some beef stock for moisture, and reheat, covered at 325° until heated through. The cube holds its shape perfectly for serving but since it is so tender, guests can simply use their fork to break the meat apart. More photos on slicing the brisket into cubes can be found on my “Ladrillo de Brisket” post here.
The glaze is painted onto the plates using a plastic pastry brush.
Make sure to taste the sauce before serving.
This sauce was finished with a bit of extra sugar to get a balance of flavor.
Serve cold pickled fennel with a warm brisket cube brushed with the glaze. Be sure to tell your guests to enjoy each bite with a bit of beef, glaze, and fennel together on the fork. The fennel can be made one or two days ahead, as can the brisket and the sauce – which makes for easy entertaining. Simply reheat the meat in the oven and gently warm the sauce in a saucepan, then plate with cold pickled fennel.
We served Lacquered Brisket of Beef as one of seven courses at the Sunken City Supper Club event. Some of the dishes were inspired by ones we’ve served at parties held in the past (links to recipes). Here’s the entire menu:
sunken city supper club winter fusion
a seven course seasonal menu
crostini with truffle cheese/ truffled shiitake/ truffled frisee
zucchini ribbons/ buratta/ pistachio relish/ basil
spicy curried butternut squash
toasted coconut/ cashews/ dried pomegranate arils/ banana
pomegranate endive radish salad/ grilled meyer lemon/ champagne vinaigrette
panko crusted crab cake/ meyer lemon aioli
lacquered brisket of beef/ ginger/ garlic/ star anise/ tamari
braised bok choy/ miso butter/ polenta
apricot wonton ravioli/pine nuts/ chile crème anglaise/mint
chocolate ginger pots de crème/candied ginger