Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Monday, December 22, 2014

Modified Chef John Ash's Brisket Braised in Coffee

Pork Roast Slow Cooked in Coffee

The theme for Recipe Redux this month is “Grab a Book & Cook.” Because Recipe Redux is celebrating 42 months, our challenge was to grab a cookbook and prepare/modify a recipe found on page 42 or 142.

I have a four-shelf bookcase filled with nothing but cookbooks, so selecting just one cookbook for this month’s Recipe Redux was a challenge. After looking at a few to see what recipes fell on pages 42 or 142, I selected Chef John Ash’s Cooking One on One: Private lessons in simple, contemporary food from a master teacher. I have met John a couple of times at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and he is not only extremely knowledgeable about culinary topics, but he is also very approachable and kind.

On page 142 of his cookbook is a recipe for Brisket Braised in Coffee. Have leftover coffee? Hate to throw it away? This is a great way to use it.

I modified Chef Ash’s original recipe in several ways. While at the supermarket, ready to buy the needed ingredients, I decided to substitute a pork end roast for the brisket listed in the original recipe. This is because the brisket was $7.49 per pound, meaning that a 4 pound piece of meat would be about thirty dollars. The pork end roast, on the other hand, was $1.49 per pound, or about six dollars total. I also decided to use a slow cooker to prepare this recipe instead of a 300 oven for 3 hours. I wanted to let it cook for hours so that the flavors would meld and the meat would be ultra tender. I also cut the amount of olive oil in half, reduced the amount of salt, and used canned tomatoes with no salt added in place of regular canned tomatoes.

Here are photos of the preparation steps:

Top: browning the roast; Middle: adding strong coffee; Bottom adding other ingredients.
Here is the roast cooking in the slow cooker:

All ingredients cooking in slow cooker

Here is the modified recipe:

Modified Brisket Braised in Coffee

4 pounds pork end roast (with bones), trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large yellow onions (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds total), peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sliced fresh garlic (about 1 medium bulb or 12 cloves)
2 tablespoons (or more) pure chile powder, such as ancho or Chimayo
2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar (with mother, if desired)
4 cups strong brewed coffee
1 cup homemade chicken, meat, or vegetable stock or broth
1 14-1/2 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes with their juice

Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides over medium-high heat. Remove meat and place in slow cooker. Add onions and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat stirring frequently until they just begin to color. Add the chile powder and sauté, stirring, for a minute more, until fragrant. Add the fennel, cumin, sugar, vinegar, coffee, stock, and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Pour mixture over meat in slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours on high heat (or 8 to 10 hours on low heat) or until meat is tender.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on cutting board. Puree the braising liquids and vegetables until smooth using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender and puree in batches). Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Slice meat thinly across the grain. Serve meat with warm sauce spooned over it.
Serves 8.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

587 calories, 30 g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 144 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 47 g protein, and 365 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B-6.

This roast is good the day it is prepared, as well for a few days later.