Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a new cookbook out that will revitalize your cooking repertoire. With favorites from her restaurants, childhood and home kitchen, The Home Cook, this is a friendly, accessible volume that will point you in the right direction. This beef brisket soup is the perfect meal to warm you up this winter.
I love brisket when it’s simply roasted with carrots, but I always find it to be a cut of meat that is hard to serve juicy. The best way to balance this? Serve it as a soup with cheese dumplings. And I love the concept of developing the flavor of a soup by braising it in the oven. I prefer the second cut of brisket, which is wonderfully marbled with fat; the first cut is far more lean.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds beef brisket, preferably all second cuts
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 medium garlic cloves, grated
- 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with string
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 quarts beef stock
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 6 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsated butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
For the soup and dumplings
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cook the brisket: In a large ovenproof pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, season both sides of the brisket pieces with salt and cracked black pepper. Use metal tongs to add the meat to the pot. Cook, undisturbed, on the first side until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the meat over onto the other side and cook until browned, another 12 to 15 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic, onions, thyme, and wine. Simmer until the wine evaporates, 10 to 12 minutes. Add 1 quart of the stock and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Use a ladle to skim any impurities from the top. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the brisket is tender and the meat flakes easily with a fork, 1¾ to 2 hours.
Make the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk the butter until it is smooth and then whisk in the eggs. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and 3⁄4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Do not overwork the mixture.
Cook the dumplings and finish the soup: Remove the pot from the oven and put it on a burner over medium heat. There should be about 1½ quarts liquid remaining. If there is less than that, add the remaining 2 cups beef stock and bring to a simmer. Discard the thyme. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside on a platter to rest. Season the meat with salt. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dumpling dough into the simmering liquid. Stir in the carrots. Simmer gently until the dumplings and carrots are cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Note: The dumplings float to the top when they are cooked. Then break the meat apart slightly and return it gently to the pot. Stir in the scallions and taste for seasoning.
Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano- Reggiano, and serve immediately.