Wednesday 6 February 2013

"Perfect Brisket" - Beef in Coca-Cola

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.


  1. My OH is addicted to coke and drinks far too much of it. I can't stand the stuff but I can kind of see how it would work this way. I often add a little dark brown sugar or treacle to a beef casserole and I guess the coke provides a similar flavour. Wonder if my OH would like his beef cooked in his favourite drink?

    With the extra large piece of meat, I had that problem with Tesco a few years ago. I ordered a medium sized ham joint for Christmas and they sent me a 4kg joint and charged full price for it. It lasted for ages as I froze some if after cooking but that's the perils of online food shopping!

  2. Wow this looks good! I've made Root Beer pulled pork before which was really tasty so I imagine this would have been good too! That's annoying when Asda does substitutions, I always used to find it was the thing I needed most they would have replaced with something random!!

  3. sounds and looks good.


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