Thursday, March 19, 2009

Overheard in the Loveless Kitchen

By Judith Garfield

Last week, as I was preparing to make my loveless brisket pot roast--only three ingredients: brisket, dry onion soup, and heavy-duty tin foil--I swear I overheard this:

Onion Soup: We need to talk. Chicken casserole has offered me a position.
Brisket: Go ahead…leave. But you’ll never find the success you have with us.
Onion Soup: But I’m so versatile.
Tin Foil: Listen fellas, without me you two would never work.
Brisket: He’s right. We’re all okay alone. Opening acts. But together we’re the main attraction.
Tin Foil: Agreed. Now, don’t let any of this leak out.

According to the dictionary of American Food & Drink, the term “pot roast” dates in print to 1881. There are many different cuts of meat that can be used, but I have found that a first cut beef brisket is the tastiest and most tender. I don’t know why it’s called a brisket. There’s nothing brisk about it. Takes at least three hours to cook.

To make a loveless pot roast, sprinkle the dry onion soup on a first cut brisket and wrap tightly in heavy-duty tin foil. If for some reason you neglect to use heavy-duty foil, you will never try this recipe again. So to avoid foil failure, also use a roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees for three hours. Let it sit in the foil for another 1/2 hour.

Brisket recipes say to slice against the grain. This assumes that we know a) what the grain is, and b) what direction against it would be. I reiterate again the need for a significant other who knows about these things.

Serve on a platter with gravy that will miraculously appear in the tin foil, and garnish with parsley. People will think you spent hours perfecting Grandma’s recipe. No one will believe you hate to cook.

This loveless brisket is wonderful hot, and maybe even better the next day. Unlike most loveless leftovers that keep getting pushed to the back of the refrigerator, until they make their way to the trash, this leftover will be eagerly consumed. Put it on fresh rye bread with horseradish mustard. Yummmm.

Just wondering: Does anyone actually use onion soup for soup?


Anonymous said...

In answer to your question at the end: no. I don't think anybody has ever used onion soup mix as actual soup (I hear it tastes vile). It should be rebranded as Onion Dip Mix.

Anonymous said...

oh man i am so curious to hear an answer to this question: what is another product that is marketed as one thing but so clearly is used for something else? anyway, THIS is what i'm talking about - an easy way to get some meat on the table.

Anonymous said...

Yuuuummmmm, I have tried this loveless receipe and it is really this easy and really this good- TRY IT!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loveless cook, did you really have that conversation with the soup mix and tin foil? Love Brisket- but it always came out like rubber and the sides curled up :-) Definitely not like Grandma made-

I will certainly give this loveless brisket recipe a whirl!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loveless Cook:

I love to make brisket but foil failure happens way too often to me. Consequently, I have started using large oven bags. I can throw in veggies and have a whole meal in a bag.

BTW, isn't brisket the cut of meat they corn for St Patty's Day?

Anonymous said...

Grandma's got nothing on me now! Thanks for another loveless but delicious recipe, LC.

Anonymous said...

Sadly for me, I had to read this twice to get the tin foil's double entendre: "don't let this leak out." I never thought I would be outwitted by tin foil. You are too funny, loveless cook.

Loveless period said...

Enjoyed your article.
As I don't cook, I think I could even make this one. My loveless kitchen will be so pleased!
Thanks for the good humor and good ideas.

Anonymous said...

Instead of using the foil use a cooking bag. Works better, just cut holes in the (top of the) bag. You can then put in any vegetables you like as well (potatoes, carrots, etc...).