January 27, 2023
Life lessons & a recipe
Many of you have met my mom, Sandra, at the Bistro. If you have, it’s probably not because I introduced you, but because she tends to talk to strangers… a behavior of hers we found embarrassing as kids and now, as my sisters and I find ourselves doing the very same thing, it has seemed to slip into endearing.
So, if you’ve met my mom once, you are more than likely already considered a friend. Her mantra is from the book The Help… you is kind, you is smart, you is important. Sandra is a retired pediatric nurse of 50 years. She decided, as she watched her grandmother dying in the hospital being poked and prodded without a though to her comfort, that even if she wasn’t smart enough to be a nurse, she could be kind. She would be a kind nurse… and one of the smartest as well. Her Docs glowed about her nursing knowledge for years and I still run into her patients her remember her skills and her heart.
Sandra raised three happily married, sharp, successful daughters… she did it mostly alone as she was widowed at the age of 36. Mom taught us kindness as far back as I can remember, pointing out different ways to show it. Whether it was helping an elderly person with a car door or showing friendship to a special needs kid at school, my mother insisted we were polite and thoughtful of others. My sister Karen is a teacher & manager at a Montessori school in Scotland, Christine is a veterinarian in Ann Arbor (and well, you know what I do) … all three of our careers are rooted in kindness. I’m very proud of my family of four special women and although my mom will tell you I got my love for cooking from my dad… it was certainly my mom who taught me to cook from the heart, look out for the underdog and under privileged, be polite and to be kind.
Now for the recipe… her brisket is simple but incredibly delicious and always served with Southern hospitality and love. This is my adaptation of her original. If you want the original, you’ll have to ask her yourself.
My Mom’s Beef Brisket (adapted)
About a Half Cup Flour
4 T. Butter
2 Onions, thick cut
4 Carrots, sliced long on the bias
Garlic Cloves 10
Celery, cut long and on the bias
2-3 C. Red Wine
Beef stock to almost cover (1-1 ½ Qts.)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Rosemary Sprig, 2 bay leaves
In large roasting pan, melt butter. Mix salt and pepper generously into flour, rub Brisket with seasoned flour. Sear in hot pan on both sides.
Add vegetables, wine & bring to boil, scrape bottom of pan well…let reduce by half. Add stock, bring up to a simmer. Add herbs.
Remove from heat, cover with foil and roast for 3 ½- 4 hours or until a fork punctures the meat easily in the thickest part.
Let meat rest in juices overnight and chill completely. Remove fat, slice meat, add back to warmed juices & veggies, thicken gravy with cornstarch if desired. Serve with Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower.
My mom’s table
Sandra and her partner Frank slice her Brisket
My version of Mom’s Brisket
~ Chalkboard Features January 27 & 28, 2022 ~
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All Bistro Plates are served with a choice of Caesar or DJB House Salad
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~ Suggested Wine: Vina Otano Reserva Tempranillo ~