YANKEE POT ROAST WITH BROWN BREAD DUMPLINGS AND MELTED VEGETABLES
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 spring fresh parsley
6 black peppercorns
2 tbsp. peanut oil
1 (5 lb.) beef brisket
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 c. red wine
6 stalks celery, trimmed & cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise
3 carrots, peeled, cut into ¼”-thick-sticks
3 heads garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
2 onions, julienned
16-24 c. beef stock or water
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, cored, and quartered
Preheat oven to 350°F. Make a bouquet garni by placing the thyme, parsley, and peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and using kitchen twine, tie the cheesecloth into a small bag or sachet. Set aside.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and place it in the Dutch oven. Sear the meat, turning it occasionally, for about 12 minutes, or until all sides have browned. Pour off any excess oil. Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, stir to deglaze the pot and lift up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of it. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and onions and stir to distribute the vegetables evenly in the Dutch oven. Add the stock (or water) and tomato along with reserved bouquet garni and salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then immediately cover and place it in the preheated oven. Braise the meat for about 90 minutes, or until it is extremely tender and almost ready to fall apart when pierced with a fork. Remove the pot from the oven. Do not turn off the oven.
Uncover and carefully transfer the meat to a serving platter. Tent the meat lightly with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the vegetables to a nonstick baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast the vegetables for 15 minutes, or until they are nicely glazed.
Place the Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Bring the gravy to a boil and boil it for about 10 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly and formed a nice glaze. Remove the pot from the heat and return the meat to the serving platter. Carefully transfer the vegetables to the serving platter. Serve, family style, carving the meat at the table and passing the gravy and brown bread dumplings on the side.
BROWN BREAD DUMPLINGS
¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. diced onions
1 lb. pumpernickel bread, crusts removed, cubed
1½ c. heavy cream
3 small eggs
1 tsp. coarse salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, lightly coat the insides of twelve 2-ounce ramekins. Set aside.
Heat the remaining butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and have sweat off most of their liquid. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
Place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the cream and eggs and pour the mixture over the cubed bread. Add the onions and salt along with the pepper and toss to combine. Generously pack the mixture into the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins into a baking pan large enough to hold them, leaving at least an inch between each ramekin. Fill the pan with hot water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place the entire pan in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are set and their tops are slightly dry. Remove them from the oven and carefully tip each dumpling from the ramekin.