Podcast: 3 food groups: pork, brisket, brownies

This week's AFR podcast features pork, brisket and brownies. / AFR photo at left by Daniel McCullum, photos on right from Wikicommons

This week’s AFR podcast features pork, brisket and brownies. / AFR photo at left by Daniel McCullum, photos on right from Wikicommons

Bonny Wolf and Peter Ogburn recap the epic Cochon 555 event in Washington, D.C., on this week’s American Food Roots’ podcast. The big pig fest is one of 10 in the country, each featuring five chefs, with the king of pork to be crowned in Aspen, Colo., in June.  The podcast also features discussion of other diet foods such as barbecued brisket and chocolate brownies.

Makes 24 brownies

Bertha’s Famous Brownies

This dessert was created in the kitchen of the Palmer House Hotel during the 1893 Columbian Exposition when Bertha Palmer requested the chef make a "ladies dessert" that would be easier to eat than a piece of pie, smaller than a slice of layer cake and which could be used in box lunches at the Women's Building at the Fair. The result was the brownie. This recipe is still served today at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.


  • Brownies

  • 18 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 8 ounces cake flour
  • 24 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 pound walnuts, crushed (optional)

  • Glaze

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin


Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the walnuts).

When the chocolate has melted, add it to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the eggs and mix.

Pour into a non-stick 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle crushed walnuts (if using) over top and lightly press into top of batter.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. It will test "gooey" with a toothpick in the middle, due to the richness of the mixture.

Once the brownies are taken out of the oven and have cooled, start the glaze.

Whisk the water, preserves and gelatin in a sauce pan. Mix thoroughly and heat to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. While the glaze is hot, use a pastry brush and apply a thick layer of the glaze to the top of brownies. Let sit, before serving.

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Katie Younger’s Texas Brisket

Beef brisket can be turned into pot roast, sauerbraten or any manner of stews. In Texas, it stands on its own. My American Roots contributor Katie Younger shared her mom's recipe.


  • 8-12 pound boneless whole beef brisket, untrimmed
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place brisket in a large roasting pan, fat side up.

Douse the meat with a good amount of Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle liberally with the garlic, salt and pepper.

Add water to the pan, until it stands about 1/2-inch high on all sides. Cover the pan with tin foil, and loosely tuck it under the sides.

Cook the brisket for 1 hour. Lower the heat to 325 and cook for 45 minutes per pound. Uncover the brisket for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Brisket should fall apart and be stringy when you pull it with a fork.

Makes 6 servings

Braised Brisket

Andrea Golden used brisket as a way to understand her husband's Jewish culture and to create a family tradition. When it's cooking, the aroma of beef and wine fills the whole house. Andrea adapted this recipe from one by the Food Network's Tyler Florence.


  • 1 (4-pound) beef brisket, first cut
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 3/4 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Drizzle brisket liberally with olive oil, then season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add roughly 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, place the meat in the pot and sear on both sides to form a brown crust. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add carrots, onion and celery to the pot. Brown the vegetables, then add garlic, tomatoes, red wine, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and parsley.

Add the brisket back to the pot. Cover and place in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat falls apart when touched with a fork.

Remove the brisket to a serving platter and let it rest for 15 minutes. Strain out the vegetables and pour off some of the fat. Pour remaining liquid over the brisket.

Slice the brisket across the grain and serve.

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    […] Nothing to do with Italy, but everything to do with delicious. Pork, brisket & brownies. […]