Saturday, September 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

I'm both a foodie and a techie. I'm constantly in search of everything new in the food and technology worlds. I have the good fortune to have been retired for the last four years ("Every day is Saturday"). This leaves me ample time to take a full lap of the Internet each day in search of what is new.

On my lap yesterday, I stumbled on this slow cooker from Belkin. Now anyone familiar with the tech world knows Belkin makes really cool products...from smart apps to iPhone accessories to energy management devices. What Belkin does not do is make cooking products. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? But it seems that this is their first foray into the cooking world. It's a Internet connected slow cooker selling for a mind-boggling $132. There's a single on/off button on the slow cooker. All of the controls are managed by an app you download to your smartphone. This is hard for me to grasp.

This is a picture of my slow cooker, which was acquired sometime in the late 70's. Notice the really cool avocado color, which just happened to match the appliances in my condo at the time. This was acquired back in the day of disco, polyester clothing and really long hair. George Faber was ripping it up every night with Rupert's Orchestra at the hottest venue in town...Rupert's Nightclub. Drop the Corvette off at the valet....button up the three-piece suit....and every Friday night was like walking into a ladies prison with a pardon in each hand.

I only ask one thing of my slow cooker and that is to cook shit slow. It has a single button. And it works every bit as well as it did 36 years ago. It no longer matches my appliances, which may be a good thing. It cost about $12 in the day...and you can still get a perfectly good one new at Target for $14. So why in the hell do I need a $132 WiFi connected slow cooker? 

I could only come up with one scenario where it might possibly come in handy. When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I foresee the need to travel great distances to forage for food and highly-rated, vintage red wines. Knowing that I am not going to return in time to turn on my avocado Rival Crockpot, I think it would be incredibly useful to pull out my iPhone 6+ and fire up the Belkin Slow Cooker so that we would have something warm and yummy after a hard day of foraging and slicing off zombie heads. But then that begs the question, will we have WiFi in the Zombie Apocalypse?

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, sliced into half moons
3 1/2 pounds beef brisket
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce

  1. Heat a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly.
  2. While the onions are cooking, take the brisket out of its packaging and pat it dry. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat and turn on your vent or fan, if you have one. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in a slow cooker insert, fatty side up.
  3. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. When the onions are lightly browned, pile them on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce, and pour into the slow cooker insert.
  4. Cover and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker. The brisket can be sliced or shredded immediately and served with the onions and juices. 

Wine pairing: Merlot

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