Every time a press drop arrives at my door, I am floored by the time, effort and love put into these thoughtful packages created and sent by brands. And it was no different when this magical box from Alto Wines landed on my desk.
When I opened the oh-so-pretty floral printed box my jaw hit the floor. Filled to the brim, the box included everything needed to make a tasty, sticky, red-wine-infused BBQ sauce for a delectable brisket. Yum.
Sitting pretty in the box I found a recipe card, a bottle of Alto Wines’ Alto Rough, All Gold tomato sauce, Kikkoman soy sauce, Riebeek Valley cold pressed olive oil, fresh onions, garlic and herbs, as well as a jar filled with all the spices needed to rub down the brisket and complete the BBQ sauce.
Jeanne and I were both excited and nervous, as neither of us had cooked brisket before. But we never shy away from getting creative in the kitchen, making this just another culinary experience we can enjoy and learn from together.
First things first, I sent Jeanne to the shop to buy the brisket (as I was working) and some veggies. She chose to pair the brisket with roasted baby potatoes, honey roasted carrots and plump baby beets. Sounds like perfection, right? (Spoiler alert: It was).
Unfortunately, the only cut of brisket Jeanne could find at Pick n’ Pay was a rolled brisket, and the cut was way too big for just the two of us. Luckily both of those ‘issues’ could be easily fixed.
Firstly, to fix the ‘rolled’ part, I chose to unleash the beautiful cut of meat by cutting the twine holding it together and creating a flat piece of meat I could roast and slap on the braai later. Secondly, I chose to cut the piece of meat in half so we did not waste a huge portion of food. (I cannot stand food waste!)
Following the recipe above (which you will find in its entirety below and are welcome to save and use to make your very own brisket), I cranked up our oven to 160 degrees Celsius, put the piece of brisket in the oven in a roasting tin and got cracking with making the marinade.
Now, because I cut the meat to make a portion size for two, there was a need to do a little math and sort out the correct amount of spices and ingredients to fit the weight. But, once done, it was a breeze to complete.
Once cooked and cooled, it was time to get the brisket on the fire. I prepared a few pieces of wood earlier and the fire had been burning for roughly 45-minutes. There were a few small flames, but the majority of the heat was coming from the warm coals, making it the ideal time to get the brisket it on the grid and add some smokiness to the meat.
Once on the braai grid, according to the recipes, it was time to use the delicious marinade I made to baste the meat. Honestly, the smell coming off the braai was so good. I had to force myself to step inside for a few minutes every now and again to prevent myself from tucking into the brisket right there over the coals.
The combination of the braai and marinade really helped the top and bottom of the meat to caramelized, giving the meat a scrumptious ‘skin’ that crisped up thanks to the warm coals.
Once off the braai, it didn’t take long for Jeanne and
The other half of the meat – which is sitting in the freezer – will get the same treatment in the future! Thankfully I have enough spices and other ingredients left over to make some more marinade and repeat the process very, very soon.
For those who want to make this marinade themselves, here is the recipe and the directions to do so:
Alto Rouge BBQ sauce – Makes 375ml
- 250ml Alto Rough
- 45ml olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 5 sprig of thyme, leaves taken off the stalk
- 5 sprigs of rosemary, leaves taken off the stalk
- 2 bay leaves
- 10ml cumin
- 30ml fennel seeds
- 10ml anise seed
- 2-3 star anise seed pods
- 10ml smoked paprika
- 3-5 allspice berries
- 200g tomato sace
- 20ml soya sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a sacepan over medium heat. Fry the onions for 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the onions are cooked.
- Blend the spices together in a spice grinder or smash them with a mortar and pestle. Add the spices to the onion mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, soya sauce and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the hear and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool.
Slow cooked and roasted brisket – Serves 8
- 1 x 4.5 – 5kg whole brisket off the bone (do not remove the fat layer)
- 5 onions, peeled and slices into thick rings
- 5-6 bay leaves
- 45ml smoked paprika
- 30ml whole anise seed
- 20ml salt flakes (eg. Maldon)
- 375ml of the Alto Rouge BBQ sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- Place the brisket on a clean chopping board and rub the spices and salt all over.
- Pack the onion slices and bay leaves in a big, oven-proof roasting tin and place the brisket fat-side down on the top of the bed of onions.
- Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 6 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Prepare a fire like usual with medium coals. Baste the brisket all over with the Alto Rouge BBQ sauce and grill over the fire for about 10-15 minutes on each side all the while basting it with the BBQ sauce. Remove from the fire and place on a serving platter, pull the meat apart with two forks or slice it as thinly as possible.
Dish up and enjoy with friends or family!
If you’re looking for a delish new marinade for braais, a roast or even your Christmas dinner, look no further. Give this lip-smacking wine-infused marinade a shot and let me know what you think in the comment section below.