I visited Las Vegas for a few days last September and had a wonderful time. I wasn't there for the gambling or the partying but rather spent my whole time marvelling at the sights - everything from the dolphins in the Mirage to the Bellagio fountain. The shops were also something - I wasn't interested in the designer outlets but loved the weird and wonderful stores I came across. One in particular stood out - the Coca-Cola shop.
It sold every type of Coke merchandise you could imagine, and had a cafe where you could taste different Coca-Cola Schweppes products from around the world (some of which I thought were disgusting!). I bought some cool Coke can-style drinking glasses as a gift and couldn't resist treating myself to an intriguing little cookery book - Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola. The book is written by the great-great-granddaughter of the founder of Coca-Cola and contains all kinds of sweet and savoury recipes, all using one of the company's products - so not all Coke; some use Sprite, others use Minute Maid orange juice and so on.
I decided to try a recipe that was fairly straightforward and fairly standard, as I have already made Nigella's ham in Coca-Cola before. So the one I chose was called "Perfect Brisket" - basically beef in Coca-Cola.
I had a massive piece of beef - I'd ordered a small joint from Asda costing around £4 and they substituted it with a much larger one and charged me the full price because apparently it wasn't a substitution as such, just a bigger version of something I'd ordered. I ended up with lots of leftovers!
I also ordered a packet of onion soup mix, which was one of the main ingredients in the recipe, and Asda didn't have that either (sigh). But as I had no room in my freezer for such a massive piece of beef, I decided to make the recipe anyway and adapt it as well as I could. So instead of the packet soup mix, I mixed some beef stock with some onions.
This is a very simple recipe - you combine the soup mix with a can of Coke (or 330ml equivalent from a bottle)
The final instruction is to add a bottle of chili sauce. The recipe doesn't state a quantity; I bought a small bottle of Nando's medium peri-peri sauce and added the entire contents to the sauce.
Score the beef; I added some large pieces of onion to the casserole dish as well, and pour all the liquid over the top.
Cook in a hot oven for about 3 hours until the beef is tender.
The stock gave the beef a really nice flavour though I'm not really a fan of spice, so if I made this again I would probably buy the mild version of the sauce. It made a nice change from a normal roast beef joint anyway, and I'm looking forward to trying out some more recipes from this book.