Brisket is not easy. Actually it is beast to cook. More often than not it is two different pieces united by sinew and fat. There is a lean part and a fatty part. If you cook the two parts together, one of them suffers. We have not found the ideal means to cook brisket. In fact, I have a love-hate relationship with brisket. I love the idea of it yet the results both ours and those we have dined upon are like playing a game of Russian Roulette. Even the grand masters of brisket cookery, Katz's with their pastrami, have good and bad days. I guess if it was easy everyone would cook and we would be out of a job. Aside from that idea, my mind is perplexed and stimulated by the idea of brisket cookery.
I find it even more intriguing that I then search out this difficult cut to cook in fish. We marinated what we considered the brisket of a striped bass in a blend of chermoula, smoked soy sauce, bourbon infused maple syrup and water. We then slow cooked the brisket and then crisped the exterior. I paired the fish brisket with a dried lima bean puree enriched with truffle oil and sauteed fava beans. Young lovage and tarragon accented the fish as did a sprinkling of chermoula.
The fish was tasty. The puree was tasty. The two went together just fine. Yet, like my difficulties with brisket cookery I had difficult in presenting a fish brisket dish. Yes it tasted good. It is even visually appealing. Yet, it does not scream brisket. Why not? Because, we are still learning, trying to understand ideas and weave them into a completed dish. This is what haunts my waking and sleeping hours. An understanding of food and how to share that understanding with others.