Ah Sunday, the greatest of all the days. It’s amazing that in less than a generation Sunday has gone from a dread enducing bed time thought on a Saturday night, bringing nightmares of trips to church in trousers made from a special blend of camel-hair and barbed wire and long dull drizzly afternoons filled with boring telly and the smell of cabbage being boiled to death in a pressure cooker to the ultimate relax day. A day for DVD box sets (aah 6hours of season 2 of Las Vegas marvelling at just how good Josh Duhmel looks in a suit and how much I wish James Caan was my uncle), reading the papers, maybe even meeting with friends or watching a veritable smorgasboard of sport.

Sunday has undergone the greatest cool transformation since Quinten Tarrantino rang John Travolta and said “forget about making Who The Hell is Talking Now I’ve got a part for you in my new movie”.

Saturday is too demanding, its all “Hey I’m Saturday, do something fun, now!”. If your single it generally involves going to town to buy clothes, drink coffee al fresco while trying not to choke on bus fumes before going home to throw on your glad rags and hit the bright lights of town for a night of energetic bar hopping and exhausting clubbing.

If you’re married it’s a case of trying to prove that your lives havent changed just because you have kids and you’re still the crazy fun loving person you always were, it’s a case of “Honey you take the kids bungee jumping while I wrestle this crocodile!”, or convincing yourself that a day trolling through warehouse sized megastores buying presents for your house to keep it happy and stop it going into negative equity passes for a pretty good Saturday.

Sunday is far less hassle, it’s entirely acceptable for grown adults be in the pajamas at 3 in the afternoon, eating their way through some heavily salted snack treats and trying to figure out how to get food without leaving the couch! Sunday knows you have a long hard week ahead but it wants you not to worry about it, there is no point wasting a great Sunday worrying about a tough Monday.

Hangovers are positively encouraged on a Sunday, they are damn near obligatory and thanks to the wonders of social networking you can much easier piece together the trail of carnage and debauchery that was you’re Saturday night out. Without social networking you would never be able to figure out what the fuck possessed you to go up to an 6ft 3+ woman and ask her “was my friend right when she said you were a transvestite?”, or casually (as possible) reminding people that we saw Mathew “Jack from Lost” Fox. No one can answer the questions of why the doorman in the Lexington hugged me as I left (was he just really glad I was leaving or had I made a good impression), how despite being possibly the drunkest man in London I managed to haggle a mini-cab driver down to £20 to take me from Kings Cross to Tooting or where exactly I got the packet of beef flavoured monster munch that I found in my coat pocket and ate for breakfast. These it seems are to remain ever out reach, answers that dance on the wind with a tantalising promise of a clarity that never comes. You have however the whole day to swear “never again” and chastise yourself for your nights transgressions.

Even if you do decide to head out for beers on a Sunday the relaxed vibe continues, the social lines are blurred, it’s like a truce has been declared between the different cliques of society. Those out on a Sunday are like the battled hardened veterans of the week, they may not get on but they respect the fact that 7days on and facing into 7days more while still willing to make time for some drinking deserves a grudging admiration. It is the only night of the week when you will see hard charging sales reps, dressed in Tommy and Ralph sharing a bar with facial hair sporting trustafarians called Tommy and Ralph!

Sunday food should be the same, it should be relaxed, involving very little effort but bring lots of joy. My early childhood memories of Sunday food are of my mother stressing herself to the point of a migraine trying to pull together all the elements of a full roast dinner with obligatory dessert. Why fill your last day of relaxation with an exhausting effort in the kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong, as anyone who has met me will testify, I have never met a roast dinner I didn’t like. I even like to cook them. However for me cooking is what I do to relax, spending 6 or 8 hours on a Sunday preparing a 3 course meal for family or friends is as natural as breathing; for most people its terrifying!

So what to cook that takes very little effort but is the perfect giving dish for a lazy Sunday? Well Bubala, its Brisket. The beloved meat of Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory, the greatest American sitcom since Fraiser (if you just said Scrubs then there is a little X in the top right corner of the screen and I would prefer if you clicked on it, we don’t want your kind around here!).

Ask your butcher for a piece of brisket, somewhere about 3 to 5lbs in weight (it will shrink a bit in cooking so dont worry), ask him for a flat cut, also called a first cut, its a leaner piece, tell him as well that you are going to brine it yourself.

On Saturday place the brisket in a large pot cover with cold water and add

2tbs of salt

2tbs of brown sugar

12 peppercorns

3 bayleaves

1/4tsp of ground nutmeg

Just leave it sit there till whatever time you decide to cook it on Sunday.

Ok is Sunday, you’ve checked your phone for evidence of drink dialling, counted the shrapnel in your pocket and your going to stick the brisket on so you can relax on the couch for the 3 or 4hours its going to cook for.

Here is what you are going to need

1 brisket (see above!)

12 baby onions, peeled and left whole

4 carrots, peeled and cut in half length ways

4 baby turnips, peeled and halved

4 sticks of celery, cut into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

enough vegetable stock to cover the brisket

Crusty bread and pickles to serve with it.

In an oven proof saucepan heat some olive oil and brown the brisket well, making sure you get a good deep colour on the meat. Remove it and add the onions and allow them to take some colour before adding the rest of the vegetables. Place the brisket on top and pour over the vegetable stock. Cover and place in the oven for 3½ to 4 hours at 180degrees (everything cooks at 180 by the way).

Then remove the brisket and allow to rest for 15mins before slicing and serving with the crusty bread and pickles to make a quality sandwich, its nice if you provide various mustards and relishes to allow people put their own spin on their finished sandwich, ladle the broth into a bowl and sprinkle it with some fresh parsley to go along with your sandwich.

Enjoy!

P.S. I know the recipe is fuck all use to you at 3.30 on a Sunday afternoon but trust me you will thank me for this next week

Advertisements