Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Sliders

It was starting to look like spring around here. Most of the snow had melted and the weather was warm enough that I put away my heavy winter jacket in favour of a lighter spring jacket. Then, without warning, winter returned… Temperatures dropped back down to -9 degrees Celsius! And it snowed again.

With the return of colder weather, I decided to make some comfort food. So, I picked up some beef brisket and made sliders!

This was more than enough for the two of us. So, the next day, we served the leftovers to some friends that stopped by around dinner time. They reheated nicely in the oven and were just as delicious the next day!

Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 onions, sliced – approximate cost $0.80
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 pounds of beef brisket – approximate cost $10.00
  • 1 bottle of light beer (we used Bud Light Lime) – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder – approximate cost $0.10
  • ½ teaspoon cumin – approximate cost $0.05
  • 3 dashes natural hickory liquid smoke – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 bay leaves – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • ½ cup Carolina-style barbecue sauce – approximate cost $1.30
  • 12 slider hamburger buns – approximate cost $2.50

Method

  1. Preheat a frying pan and the grapeseed oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion slices when the oil is hot.
  3. Cook the onion for about 7 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the cooked onions and garlic and beef brisket to the slow cooker.
  6. Combine the beer, paprika, chili, cumin, liquid smoke, bay leaves, and beef bouillon in a large measuring cup.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Pour the beer and spice mixture over the beef brisket.
  9. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until beef is cooked through and tender.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Remove the brisket and onions from the slow cooker.
  12. Shred the brisket into thin pieces.
  13. Place the shredded brisket and onions into a large baking dish.
  14. Cover with Carolina-style barbecue sauce.
  15. Mix well until the meat is thoroughly coated with the sauce.
  16. Bake for about 15 minutes so the sauce is warm and there are a few crusty pieces.
  17. Place the brisket on slider hamburger buns.
  18. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 12 sliders or 6 large sandwiches (approximate cost $1.42 per slider or $2.84 per sandwich).

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Fresh Fish Chowder from Relish Cooking Studio

I was so nervous eating this fresh fish chowder. I have a lactose sensitivity (thank goodness it’s not an intolerance, I couldn’t give up my small amounts of whipped cream, cheese, etc.). It’s not that I can’t eat milk products, I just have to be careful and enjoy them in moderation. And, if I think there might be a problem, take preventative measures by ingesting a “dairy digestive supplement” before the meal. This meal calls for heavy whipping cream… so I took two. Because I wanted to enjoy both this dish and the rest of the meal.

Chef Mark offered to make a soup just for me with a tomato broth as the base. This would have made it lactose free. However, despite his generosity, I declined because I really wanted to taste the chowder recipe as it was meant to be.

If I make this recipe again at home (probably during the winter when we tend to enjoy more soups), I will try out the tomato broth and exclude the cream.

This part of the demo was especially fun, because not only did Chef Mark teach us how to choose fish from the store, he also taught us how to cut a whole fish into fillets. He even allowed someone from the audience to give it a try! (Unfortunately, I didn’t speak up fast enough to try, but I’m confident that, with the right knife, I wouldn’t do a terrible job filleting a fish!)

Have you made fish chowder at home? What kind of soup base do you enjoy? Cream? Tomato? Something else entirely?

Fresh Fish Chowder

Recipe by (and posted with permission from) Chef Mark Brown, demonstration at Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon butter – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups) – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine – approximate cost $1.50
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 1/2 cups clam juice – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 bay leaf – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 pounds firm white fish (such as sea bass), pin bones removed, fillets cut into 2-inch pieces – approximate cost $20.00
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy (or whipping) cream (so the brother won’t curdle, do not substitute milk) – approximate cost $2.00
  •  2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the wine.
  4. Cook uncovered until the wine reduces by half.
  5. Add the potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Lower heat to medium setting.
  8. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost done (10-15 minutes).
  9. Lower heat to low setting.
  10. Add fish pieces and cream to the pot of potatoes.
  11. Cook over low heat, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through (about 10 minutes).
  12. Mix in the parsley.
  13. Allow soup to rest for 30 minutes before serving (the flavours will improve).
  14. Serve with a side of fresh bread.

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $4.68 per serving).

Chicken and Rice Soup

With summer coming to an end and the cooler weather of fall arriving, it seems that everyone around me has caught a cold. This is a time when I like to prepare a large batch of chicken and rice soup. It’s comforting whether you’re the one who is sick or you’re trying to avoid catching the cold from those around you.

This soup is fairly basic. The most time consuming portion is making the broth, however this is a hands-off process if you have a slow cooker. From start to finish, this soup takes about 8 ½ hours to prepare, but only about half an hour of that time is spent in the kitchen.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and rice soup

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (or 4 chicken legs), bone in and skin on – approximate cost $8.00
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 cooking onions, chopped into bite-sized pieces – approximate cost $1.00
  • 2-3 teaspoons of sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • Water
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped into bite-sized pieces – approximate cost $1.00
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 cup of your favourite medium or long grain rice (I used basmati) – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley – approximate cost $0.10
  • Salt and pepper to taste – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Combine chicken, onion, bay leaves, and sea salt in a slow cooker. Add enough water to entirely cover the chicken with about 2-3 inches of water.
  2. Cook on low temperature for about 6-8 hours.
  3. Carefully remove cooked chicken from the liquid and place on a cutting board, allow to cool until you can handle the chicken.
  4. Remove and discard skin and bones.
  5. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.
  6. Return chicken to the slow cooker.
  7. Add carrots, celery, and dried parsley to the slow cooker.
  8. Add more salt and/or pepper to taste.
  9. Turn slow cooker to high heat, cover, and cook for about half an hour (or until the rice is ready)
  10. Cook rice according to package, using brother from the slow cooker instead of water
  11. Add rice to the slow cooker and mix the soup well.

Serve immediately or keeps well in the freezer for about a month.

Makes about 7 servings (approximate cost: $1.74 per serving)

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