Episode 005 - James Hartnett & Braised Brisket

Stand-up, sketch artist and actor James Hartnett eats braised brisket with pea puree and sesame carrot salad and talks about being a celebrity to preteens, ASMR, and what it's like to be a childless Dad. @jameshartnett


Recipe: Braised Brisket with Pea Puree and Sesame Carrot Salad

4 Servings
Total Time: 4.5-5 hours, Active Time – 1 hour


2 pounds beef brisket (ask for the point of the brisket instead of the flat, but flat will work too)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into smallish pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 small tin of tomato paste
2-3 (half a small tin), chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
¾ cup wine (any wine will do)
1 L chicken stock
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
Leftover parsley stems if you got em

Preheat oven to 275oF. Pat beef brisket dry with paper towels and season heavily with salt and pepper, or if you are doing this a day in advance, let sit overnight with optional spices such as smoked paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, dry mustard powder, etc.

Once seasoned, sear in a very hot dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven safe pot, 2-3 minutes a side on all sides. Once seared remove the brisket and set aside to rest while cooking your veg and heating the braising liquid.
Turn heat down to medium and add carrots and onions until heavily translucent, at least 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Add tomato paste and chipotle peppers and cook for another few minutes. Turn the burner up to high, and then add wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot, then add chicken stock and fish sauce. Once the braising liquid gets up to a good simmer, place the brisket back into the braising liquid, cover with oven safe lid or aluminum foil, and place in a 275°F oven for at least 4 hours, until the internal temperature reaches at least 190°F. I like to take it out by 200°F. More than 210°F is usually overcooked.

Once it’s reached temperature, remove from oven and take out a few ladles worth of braising liquid and place in a small pot. Get mixture to a simmer and reduce liquid to at least half to serve as a sauce for the brisket.  Let brisket to rest covered with the remaining liquid and veg. So once the braising liquid has reduced in half or so, slice the brisket across the grain of the meat so that the orientation of your knife forms a 90 degree angle with the muscle fibers of the brisket. ¼ inch slices are nice.

Pea Puree

½ bag frozen peas
¼ cup butter
½ cup plain greek yogurt (regular yogurt is ok too)
¼ cup fresh parsley and/or chives, minced

Thaw and reheat frozen peas in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add all remaining ingredients into a bowl. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree everything together. Without these things, mash them up or just leave those peas alone.  

Sesame Carrot Salad

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced in very thin batons or coarsely grated
A few drops of sesame oil
4 tbsp tahini
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp honey
Hot sauce, sriracha, chili sauce to taste (optional, I like ~1 tbsp)
Sesame seeds, best if toasted (optional)

If you have a mandolin slicer, use the fine grate attachment to slice very thin carrot batons. Alternatively, make thin cuts or use a coarse cheese grater.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Quick Christie Questions links

Favourite restaurant?
Momofuku Noodle Bar

Favourite people to follow on Twitter?
@gilberttim, @mbalazo, @aaroneves, @chrislockefun

About Back of the House

Back of the House is a comedy and food podcast in Toronto. Host Mike Christie invites comics and entertainers over for a meal that has special significance in the guest's life and they discuss food, comedy, urbanism, and whatever's irking them in the moment. Remember, this is water and some are lakes.