As cold weather sets in, I start craving my mom’s famous brisket recipe. My mom, whose name is Pearl, cooks like I like to do – just tosses everything together, not measuring anything. The brisket recipe is like that, too – for years, I’ve tried to get a solid recipe for it, but all I’ve gotten is ‘you need a double-point brisket and LOTS OF PRUNES!’
My daughters and I love prunes, and I always have them in the pantry. We usually eat them out of hand – they’re a healthy, versatile snack (prunes stuffed with nut butter, anyone?), and with their boron, potassium, and vitamin K, they’re also good for bone health.
Luckily, I worked with California Prunes a while back, which was sort of a dream come true for me. That’s because I had a TON of prunes in my pantry, but it was also my chance to share the prune love AND my mom’s famous brisket recipe – I’ve cracked the code!
For this recipe, I’ve used bone-in short ribs instead of brisket, and served them atop of polenta. It’s a hearty, sweet, and savoury dish that’s perfection for cold weather meals and for freezing!
If you use a brisket, it’s the exact same process. Get a double point brisket – that’s a WHOLE brisket, not just a single point. It’s a large piece of meat, but it shrinks down by a lot during cooking, so don’t worry that it’s too big. I also freeze a bunch of the brisket after I make it, which means that I have an amazing meal anytime I want it. Just pull it out of the freezer and microwave it until it’s hot.
If you’re not into polenta for some reason, you can also use potatoes or noodles as a side for this short rib/brisket recipe. Don’t forget the vegetables! I have to say that, I’m a dietitian.
- 4 pounds of bone-in beef short ribs
- 1 cup packed California Prunes
- 2 medium yellow onions diced
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons smoky bbq sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth + 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Canola or other neutral oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup polenta or cornmeal
- 2 cups water
- 2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Season the ribs with salt all over.
In a heavy Dutch oven on the stovetop, heat a couple tablespoons of oil and brown the ribs on all sides. Remove and set aside on a plate.
In the same oil, brown the onions, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the prunes, then lay the ribs on top and add the ketchup, bbq sauce, soy, thyme, salt, pepper, broth and water.
Cook in the oven, covered, for 2.5 hours, turning the ribs and ‘mashing the prunes up’ as Pearl says - every 30 mins or so.
Prepare the polenta by bringing 2 cups water and 1 cup broth to a boil and whisking in cornmeal. Whisk in the remaining cup of broth and simmer until thickened, around 15 mins. Drop in butter, and season with salt and pepper