In my opinion, to cook meat in the oven for a long time on a low heat, gives the absolute best flavor.
To eat meat that is so tender it falls off the fork is just the best.
I either do a dry rub or marinate the meat in liquids over night in the fridge. Either way is great.
I remember the pot roasts my mother used to make for sunday dinner. The meat had cooked for many hours. My mom would use a little cheaper cut of meat but cook it to perfection so that it ended up tasting like a million bucks. After all, we were a family of six. One had to make the best with what one had or could afford.
And if there really was a festive dinner she would make Hasselback potatoes. I remember us kids trying to get more potatoes than what was offered to us. I can still smell them coming out of the oven…. The crust that built up on the bottom of the potatoes….mmmmm…
These potatoes are named after the old restaurant Hasselbacken, at Djurgården, Stockholm (Sweden), where they were first made in 1955.
This old restaurant is a landmark in Stockholm. It opened around 1760 as a little small place where they served beer and waffles. Later on it became this fancy restaurant and eventually a hotel was added on to it.
It is still a great place to go to for dinner.
Hasselbacken at Djurgården, Stockholm. The picture is from 1945.
Brisket with a dry rub.
2 tbsp. dried herbs. (Any kind. I use dried herbs from my garden. Usually a mix of basil, oregano, thyme.)
2 tbsp. finely ground coffee.
1 tbsp. finely ground black pepper.
1 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds.
1 tbsp. Garam Masala.
1 tbsp. onion powder.
1 tbsp. garlic powder.
1-2 tbsp. ground cinnamon.
1 tbsp. paprika powder.
1 tsp. ground cumin (optional).
1-2 tsp. dried chili flakes or dried hot peppers.
1-2 tbsp. good salt. (I use very little salt. Not the full amount but just enough so that the rub starts to work.)
1 tbsp. ground cardamom (optional).
If you have, add some finely ground dried lemon or lime zest into the rub.
If there is a favorite dry herb or spice that yo would like to add, do so. This is after all just a guide for you. It is very flexible in the combination of spices.
2-3 potatoes per person (Note that people will scream for more, so you might want to make some extra).
Salt & Pepper.
Make sure all ingredients are well ground. Mix them all together. Make sure the brisket is dry. Rub it with the spice mix. Make sure it is well coated all around. Let it “marinate” for a good couple of hours if possible. Or, even over night in the fridge. If you don’t have time for that, it is ok to add the dry rub when you are about to put it into the oven.
Place the meat in an oven safe dish. I usually put it with the fat part up so that it can “drip down”/melt over the meat. Cover “tightly” with foil. Cook in the oven on a very slow heat, 150-200 degrees fahrenheit for about 4-5 hours (It all depends on the size of meat but the longer the better). If you have access to a smoker, you could smoke it for part of this time. That would be fantastic.
When done, let it rest for a few minutes so that it is easier to cut slices and so that the juices “go back” into the meat.
I usually save the drippings and boil it down on top of the stove with either a little cream, creme fresh or sour creme. It is delicious.
For the Hasslebacks potatoes.
Rinse the potatoes. Put a potato onto a wooden spoon. Cut thin slices but not all the way down. The potato needs to stay together. Put it onto a cooking sheet. Add salt and pepper. Dab a little butter on top of each potato. if you would like that extra crunch, sprinkle a little bread crumbs over them. I don’t do that, but it is part of the original recipe.
Bake in the oven until soft inside.
Serve it with a fresh salad or crispy vegetables. You need something light to balance the heavier meat and potatoes.
Enjoy your Brisket and Hasselbacks potatoes. It is really a fantastic dinner choice for those of us who loves slowly cooked meat.