Monday, April 16, 2012

Still Craving After All These Years…

This weekend marked 10 years with my husband (although we’ve only been married for 4).  We tried to spend our Friday tailgating the Cardinals home opener, but Mother Nature had other plans for us.  I suppose it being Friday the 13th didn’t help our case either.
Saturday was our official dating anniversary, and it turned out to be a much more successful day.  Not only did the Cardinals redeem themselves for the previous day’s performance, but we also watched the Blues first playoff victory of the year that evening with friends at D.S. Vespers Sports Pub and Eatery.
Yesterday was a big day for my husband; he completed his first half-marathon.  He finished in 2 hours 9 minutes!  (And yes, that is a mohawk he is sporting for the event…)

While he was recovering, I spent the afternoon as a panelist for a discussion on women’s relationships.  (See for details.) 
To celebrate our joint milestone and my husband’s personal milestone, I splurged on a brisket and made my special beer brisket meat block sandwiches with au jus (otherwise known as “French dip”).  We also tried Turtle Island beer soup, and I made triple chocolate brownies (which we affectionately call “Megan brownies” after the friend who introduced us to them).


*1 ½ - 2 lb. beef brisket (left side is best)
*32 oz. beef broth
*½ can beer (we used Stag, but we also like Budweiser)
*Minced onion flakes
* Salt and pepper to taste
*1 pkg. ciabatta rolls
*1 pkt. Au Jus gravy

Coat your crock pot with cooking spray and lay the brisket fat side down.
Cover liberally with pepper, and add about ½ as much salt and minced onion.
Pour broth and beer around the sides of the brisket.  (Eventually, the liquid will cover the brisket, so don’t be worried if it washes some of the seasoning off the top of the meat.)
Cook on low for 6-12 hours.  (I cooked it for 12 hours only because I was up super early, but this isn’t necessary.  It does help to make the meat incredibly tender though.)
When you are within 20 minutes of eating, preheat your oven for the rolls, and cook them according to the instructions on the package.
Meanwhile, bring the contents of the Au Jus packet to a boil with half the amount of water suggested on the packet.
Trim the remaining fat off of the brisket, and serve on the ciabatta rolls with between ¼ and ½ cup of Au Jus in a separate bowl per person.

You should wind up with something like this:

*1 box devils food cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
*1 small instant box chocolate fudge Jell-o pudding
*1 bag milk chocolate chips
*2 cups milk

Combine milk and pudding and milk with an electric mixer.
Add cake mix, but stir in by hand.  (DO NOT use a mixer for this step.  It will make your brownies deflate.)
Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake in a 9x13” greased casserole dish at 350° for 35 mins.

And viola!
While we weren’t very impressed by the soup, my husband was much more enthusiastic about the rest of the meal than he normally is.  If you’d like to add a side, I recommend preparing Russet potatoes your favorite way.  We usually just make mashed potatoes with butter and garlic and garnish with some Au Jus gravy.  If you’re concerned about having enough dipping sauce, prepare 2 packets.  (I don’t recommend using the residual broth mix though.  The beer doesn’t seem to mix well with the potatoes.)
Fortunately, my quality time with the hubby didn’t end last night.  We’re spending the evening together tonight as well and hoping that the Blues give another exciting performance!

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