Brisket with Root Vegetable Mash and Horseradish Sauce

Suddenly it is cold in Denmark and time to make a delicious dish that simmers for hours. Just right for a cold rainy day. Here is a dish that takes a little planning as you have let it sit in the refrigerator a few days before making it. Brisket is an inexpensive piece of meat and is really quite easy to make. It just needs a little time. Horseradish is the north´s answer to chili or ginger. It has a strong taste and can really enhance a dish. However, be careful to not over cook and don’t rewarm it, as cooking destroys the strong flavor.

Brisket with Root Vegetable Mash and Horseradish Sauce

8 main course servings


5 oz. coarse kosher salt

1½ oz. sugar

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

2-3 sprigs of parsley

1 cup celery leaves

2-3 sprigs of thyme

1 3½-to 3¾ lb. flat-cut beef brisket

Braising liquid:


1 onion

1 carrot

1 leek

1 sprig of thyme

Horseradish Sauce

1 tbsp. prepared horseradish

2 tbs. butter

1 tbsp. flour

Cooking water from the Brisket

Salt and freshly ground pepper   

Vegetable Mash:

1 large celery root, peeled, cut in 1-1½ inch cubes

3-4 peeled carrots, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 lb. potatoes, peeled, cut in 1½ inch cubes

3 oz. butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make brisket, bring 1 cup of water to boil with salt and sugar. Place brisket in a heavy wide pot. Add salt/sugar mixture, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, celery leaves, sprigs of thyme and enough water to cover meat. Place a small plate on top of brisket in order to keep meat in the brine. Set brisket in the brine in the refrigerator or someplace cold. The meat should stay in the brine 4 days.

On the fourth day, take brisket up and run it under cold water. Discard brine and place meat in pot, add enough water to cover meat. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce heat and add onion, carrot, leeks and thyme. Cover; simmer until meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Save the cooking liquid.

To make horseradish sauce, melt butter in a large pot an stir in flour, add the cooking liquid at little at a time and let simmer 5 minutes. Whisk the horseradish in and season with salt and pepper. Don´t let the sauce cook after the horseradish comes in.

To make the mash, bring cooking liquid to boil; add the celery root, carrots and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving 1½ cups cooking liquid. Return vegetables to pot and stir over low heat 1 min. to dry. Mash vegetables with potato masher to a coarse puree. Add 1 tbsp. of cooking liquid at a time until mash has the right consistence. Mash in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer meat to work surface. Thinly slice across grain. Place on platter. Drizzle sauce around. Serve with vegetable mash and additional horseradish sauce.     

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