Let’s face it. As much as you’d like to cook fresh food for you and your family, there are days that there is just not enough time to do so–you know: house chores, running errands, and so on. With that in mind, I studied the techniques of cooking with a plastic bag. Yes – cooking a whole meal in a plastic bag. However, you have to use an oven bag, which is actually made of nylon, that is especially designed for oven cooking. I tested the oven bags with a few dishes before writing this article. Two recipes turned out as unforgettable. I am planning to write about them in this and the next article. They truly are set-and-forget recipes that free up your day.
This recipe was inspired by the dish, Beef Brisket Pot Roast that was featured in the blog, Simply Recipe. The original version recommended using a dutch oven. However, it sounded like it could be done in an oven bag, so I tried it. I added a can of beer to the beef to create a malty, hearty, wholesome flavor.
The amounts I am listing here were used when I was testing out the recipe. If you want to cook enough to have leftovers for lunch, you may double or even triple the amounts.
Print This Post
2 lb beef brisket
1 med onions, peeled and quartered
2 C baby carrots
1 head garlic, do not peel or separate, simply wash and cut across, exposing the garlic inside
6 red-skin potatoes
2 rutabagas, peeled and cut in large pieces
Group 3, tied in a bunch
1 sprigs fresh rosemary, about 2 to 4 inch
2 sprigs thyme, about 4 inch each
1 envelops Lipton’s Recipe Secrets-Onion Soup Mix
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cans your favorite beer (I used a pale ale from Trader Joes)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce, skip if you are using a dark beer
Set the oven at 350-F. Begin with the fat-side down, sear the brisket with medium high heat in a frying pan for 5 minutes. Make sure you give it a slow sizzling sear, and don’t burn the fat. Turn the brisket over and sear for another 3 minutes. Set aside. Next, wash and cut the vegetables. For a real time-saver, Trader Joe’s has pre-washed roasting vegetables packs that contain all of the vegetables and herbs mentioned above, except the rutabaga. Therefore, all you need to do is to open one bag and combine the vegetables with the rutabagas.
Putting together the bag is super easy. Open one oven bag, place it in a large mixing bowl. Spoon in the vegetables. Add groups 3, and 4. Place the beef on top of the vegetables, fat-side up as the fat protects the meat from drying out during the baking. Gently squeeze the bag around to mix the content.
Tie the bag, set it in a baking dish, and tug the tied end underneath the bag to make sure that as the bag expands, no parts touches any heating elements in the oven. Open 6 slits on the top of the bag to allow the steam to escape. Set the oven for a timed bake of 3 hours or use a separate timer. Walk away. I used the time to write this article, but you can use it to take care of your chores or to simply relax.
When done, the juice from the beef, beer, and baked vegetables all contribute to form a spectacular gravy. First, cut a small hole at the bottom corner of the bag and drain it into a container. Don’t forget to use your oven gloves to make handling safer. Next, cut around the tied area and remove the top to create a large opening. Fish out the herbs. Transfer the beef and vegetables onto a large serving platter. I poached some extra broccoli just to add some extra fresh green color on the platter.
To serve, cut the beef against the grain, combine the vegetables and drizzle the gravy with the subtle aromatics of herb and beer on top. Pair it up with some red wine.
To serve as lunch the next day, you can simply cut out some beef to make a nice pita sandwich, and reheat the baked vegetables as a side. To add extra freshness, cut up some asparagus, poach them in salted water and mix them into the baked vegetables.
To pack for lunch, try packing the gravy, beef, baked vegetables and broccoli in separate containers. At lunch time, pour the sauce over the food and enjoy.
The vegetables turned out to be outstandingly flavorful and tender. The beef was as tender as marshmallows, yet it maintained its texture.
One thing to avoid: When cooking with an oven bag, I would avoid using solid types of seasonings such as chicken or beef cubes. I tried them, and they did not dissolve at all. If you were to use them, you would want to dissolve them ahead of time in some of the liquid you plan to use.
These oven bags are my new found tools. Amazingly, for less than 60 cents per bag, it is possible to make a hearty dinner by combining the ingredients and simply leaving the kitchen. Try it with different types of beer or wine to suit your tastes – you may like it too.
~Have you eaten yet?
You may also be interested in reading this article:
Beef Brisket Pot Roast by Simply Recipes