Ottawa·RECIPE

Make your own Vietnamese smoked brisket

Try this melt-in-your-mouth Vietnamese smoked brisket recipe for those cold autumn nights.

Restaurant entrepreneurs are launching a 4-in-1 ghost kitchen

Sharif Virani, left, sits with business partner Nara Sok. The two are opening a delivery-only ghost kitchen in the ByWard Market which will feature four unique kinds of dishes. (John-Finnigan Lin)

COVID-19 has so many people in the restaurant and hospitality sector rethinking their business models, but for business partners Sharif Virani and Nara Sok, it just confirmed a hunch they've had about the future of ghost kitchens.

Sok, co-owner of Tomo Restaurant and partner in the new Casper Kitchen Company with Virani and two others, saw opportunity with the public's growing acceptance of delivery apps as they're asked to spend more time at home.

Unlike restaurants that offer a takeout component, ghost kitchens are food-prep facilities devoted solely to delivery meals.

"You cut down a lot of your overhead costs," said Sok.

Their kitchen will incorporate four new brands, including Fit Bull, a healthy-eating concept, Old BBQ and Viet Fresh, offering Vietnamese-inspired dishes.

On CBC Radio's All In A Day this week, Virani and Sok shared a recipe for Vietnamese-style smoked brisket, an example of the kind of dish they'll be serving.

"You're really leveraging the tamarind flavours and the fish sauce that help the meat marinate over time … Then you get a nice hit with the smoke that you can either eat like that, or create a banh mi," said Virani.

Vietnamese Smoked Brisket

This takes 2.5 pounds of beef brisket, or about 1.1 kilograms.

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup Vietnamese fish sauce.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 3 ounces dark brown sugar.
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce.
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste.
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated lime zest.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger.
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice.

To cook:

  • 1 chunk of hickory wood.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Place the brisket in a large plastic container and cover with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
  3. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and reserve the marinade for later. Pat the brisket down to dry and set aside.
  4. Smoke the brisket: the recommended method is to preheat a grill to 225 F and use hickory wood, with a disposable aluminum pan filled with water sitting on top of a plate setter with the feet up on indirect heat and the beef on a stainless steel grate. Smoke the brisket until its internal temperature reaches 160 F.
  5. Remove beef from the grill and wrap in two layers of foil. Bake in the oven at 250 F until the internal temperature reaches 180 F. Remove from the oven and let rest 15 to 20 minutes prior to slicing.
  6. Heat the reserved marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it cook for five minutes, then serve over the sliced brisket.
There's nothing spooky about a new ghost kitchen launching in Ottawa next week. 12:41

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