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Brisket confit

Confit of Beef Brisket Recipe with Goat Cheese Polenta

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Slow-cooked brisket with rich goat-cheese polenta underneath. 


For the brisket confit:

  • 3 lb brisket flat, cut into 2” cubes
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • 5 good sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp paprika (smoked, if you like)
  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
  • enough light olive oil or rendered fat to cover the meat, about 1 1/2 quarts—we used rendered brisket fat

Brisket confit ingredients

For polenta:

  • 1/2 cup dried polenta or cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp fresh minced parsley
  • Salt to taste


Day before cooking:

  • Cut brisket into short-rib sized chunks—about 2″ square.
  • Combine salt and dried spices. Toss spice mixture, garlic, fresh thyme, and bay leaves together with beef.
  • Place in refrigerator uncovered overnight to cure.

Day of cooking:

Make the confit

  • Preheat your oven to 225°F (107°C).
  • Lightly rinse the excess salt and spices off the meat, reserving the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and garlic to add to the oil with the meat.
  • Heat the oil/fat in a sauté pan or dutch oven large enough to hold the meat comfortably.
  • Heat the oil to 200°F (93°C) (verified on your ChefAlarm or with your Thermapen ONE.)
  • Add the meat to the oil. If, after all the meat is added, the oil doesn’t cover the meat, add more fat or oil until the meat is submerged.
  • Insert a probe into one of the largest pieces of meat, using a pot clip to keep the probe from falling into the hot oil. 
  • Adding meat to the oil will make the temperature drop dramatically. Heat it some more to bring it back up to 200°F (93°C).
  • Place the pot in the oven, running the probe cord out the door to your ChefAlarm. 
  • Set the high-temp alarm on your Chef Alarm for 203°F (95°C). Cook. 
  • When the alarm sounds, set a timer for 3 hours. Check the tenderness after that timer sounds. 
  • If tender, remove the pot from the oven, otherwise cook for another half hour and check again. 
  • Either let the pot cool, covered, on the counter, until it can be stored in the refrigerator, or serve the meat right away. 
  • Before serving the meat, brown the cubes in some of the reserved fat in a pan. 

To make the polenta:

  • When the confit is nearly finished, combine the half-and-half, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. 
  • Add the cornmeal while whisking. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  • When the polenta thickens, turn down the heat and continue to stir, scraping the edges and bottom of the pan.
  • When the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the edge of the pan, turn off the heat.
  • Add the goat cheese and the parsley and stir to combine.Add the goat cheese and parsley to the polenta
  • Add the butter and stir to combine. This will give the polenta a nice glossy sheen.

Serve the confit on a bed of polenta, and rejoice in the warmth of cold-weather food.