Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Smoked Brisket, Blue Cheese & Beer-Braised Leeks

Elizabeth's parents gave us some Thanksgiving leftovers to take home...the crown jewel was a chunk of smoked brisket.

Elizabeth's father smoked the brisket with applewood I think and kept it moist with a mixture that included apple juice. The end result was a smoky richness with a hint of sweetness...perfect flavors to build on.

I sliced the smoked brisket thin against the grain, then seared them to get a bit of crisp around the edges.

Next, I sliced a huge leek from the farmer's market, sweated it off in some olive oil & salt, then braised the leeks in a Belgian blonde ale. The ale gave the leeks a flavor similar to the smoking process of the bitter-sweet brisket...main flavor of slight hoppiness with malty sweet undertone. I let these caramelize and kept adding the beer in small doses to prevent burning.

We had some Danish Blue Cheese from Whole Foods that would go great with the smoky-sweet brisket & bitter beer-sweetened leeks. This is similar to a Saga Blue...very firm and salty to balance the pungent 'blue' notes.

We pan-toasted some flatbread to get a cripsy base for the toppings. We then arranged the three components with a bit of parsley before enjoying these smoky bittersweet meaty cheesy appetizers.

C & E

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