This week’s recipe is named after the character Jim McLain in one of John Wayne’s non-Western films. It’s one I have no memory of ever watching, but just to see if it looked familiar, I watched the trailer from 1952. And, no, I have not seen this movie. However, that doesn’t mean I have to ignore what looks like a pretty tasty recipe. So for now, I am going to proceed making Jim McLain’s Big Beef Brisket…and consider watching the movie another day.
This looks like a pretty simple recipe but one that requires some time…about 4 hours to be a little more precise. The first step of this recipe is to combine all the spices and rub them over the brisket. Then I place the meat in a baking pan, slice an onion (not my favorite thing as you may remember) and place it on top of the beef. Next, I make a mixture of barbecue sauce, brown sugar, canned tomatoes and chilies. I pour it over the beef and cover the pan with foil. Now it goes into a 325 degree oven for 3 hours.
(This might be a good time to catch up on housework or maybe a certain TV series you have borrowed on DVD from a co-worker. I decided on housework. Okay, not really…but I did consider it.)
Anyway, when there is about 30 minutes left on my timer, I wash some small potatoes and get them ready to add to the brisket. After the timer goes off, I take the brisket out of the oven and remove the foil. I add the potatoes to the pan and put everything back in the oven to cook uncovered for another 45 minutes. When the timer goes off again, I make sure the potatoes are done (they are) and remove the pan from the oven. Now I just need to let the brisket rest for a few minutes before I slice it, then serve it with the potatoes and sauce.
So…who will be reviewing this latest creation? This tough job falls to Dad and me this week, so I pack everything up and take it over to his house. I plate two servings of brisket and potatoes, making sure Dad gets all the onions since there is no way I’m eating them. After I give him time to take a few bites, I ask his official opinion…and that is? He likes it. He even says, “well that meat is sure tender.” I did give him a little too much, but it’s another good sign that he wants me to wrap it up and save it for another day.
As for me, I agree with Dad that this is a good recipe. I wasn’t sure about the combination of barbeque sauce with tomatoes and chilies, but it works. The sauce is sweet but not overwhelming. I think this can be adjusted slightly depending on which barbeque sauce you use. I used a sweet and spicy version, but you can use whatever you prefer. And since I have always liked brisket, I knew that wasn’t going to be an issue. The only issue is making sure it’s cooked long enough to be tender, which this definitely was after almost 4 hours in the oven. The potatoes even tasted good with the sauce, but they did need a little more salt and pepper. Overall, I’m giving this recipe two thumbs up!
Now…what should I make next?
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 (3-lb.) brisket, trimmed of fat
1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
12 oz. barbecue sauce
½ cup brown sugar
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and chilies, undrained
1 ½ lb. small white potatoes
Recipe from the John Wayne Family Cookbook.