Pulled Braised Beef over Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
by: Valerie Bolon

Pulled Braised Beef

1 whole beef brisket
1 white onion, rough chopped
3 stalks celery, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
2 c. red wine (optional)
3 c. beef stock (can be store bought or homemade)
2 TBS cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large saute pan over high heat on the stove. Add the oil and let it get hot for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper to lightly coat the meat. Next place the meat in the saute pan and let sit for about 3 minutes or so until the meat forms a nice golden brown (caramelization), then flip the meat over with a pair of tongs and let the meat caramelize on the other side. Once the meat is brown on both sides, remove from the pan and place in a large, deep baking dish.

Next add the onions, celery, and garlic to the same pan and let cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring slightly to release the aromatic flavors. Then add the wine and deglaze the pan. Let the wine cook down until there is basically no liquid in the pan and then add the stock. Bring the stock up to a boil. Next pour the liquid with the vegetables into the baking dish with the meat. Cover and braise in the oven at 350 degrees until the meat is extremely tender and will pull apart easily, approximately 4-5 hours. Note: make sure the meat is almost completely covered with braising liquid. Once the meat is cooked, pull out of the oven and let cool a bit before pulling it apart. Take the liquid, strain it and pour back over the meat to keep it moist and flavorful. Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

1 loaf of stale bread, either cut into small cubes or pulled apart
1 sweet potato, either grated or cut into small dice
½ white onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. milk or cream
5 eggs
1 TBS dried thyme
2 TBS salt
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS cooking oil

For the recipe, it’s best to use bread that is stale. So for best results, leave the bread sitting out over night to dry out. White bread, challah, or brioche are good choices to use. They are moist and butter breads and will lend good flavor.

Place a medium saute pan over high heat on the stove. Add the oil and let it get hot for a bout 30 seconds. Next add the onion sweet potato, and garlic and let it cook until slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the thyme and stir for about one more minute. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl or container whisk the cream, eggs, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Add the sweet potato mixture and then add the bread. This mixture should sit in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before baking to absorb. But can be made the day before and sit up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The mixture should be moist and have a good amount of liquid to it, if it’s dry, add more milk or cream. It shouldn’t be dry. It will depend on what kind of bread is used.

Next, spray a baking dish with pan spray and pour mixture into the dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown about 45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes. Stick a toothpick into the pudding to check doneness. It should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool before slicing.

Once it’s cooled, slice into desired size pieces and serve warm, topped with pulled brisket.

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