November 2011

Chef’s Table Thomas Keller


Keller usually takes a pragmatic approach to master-chef entertaining: He dines with friends at one of his restaurants, whether in L.A. or on a night off in Yountville, where he owns the French Laundry and the original Bouchon. “I’ll sometimes roast a chicken if family is in town,” he says. For starters, he likes this appetizer, served with a crusty baguette.

1 pound braised brisket
1 ½ tbsp shallots, minced
5 ounces veal glaze
1 ½ tsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
4 ounces butter, softened
Ground black pepper, to taste
Good-quality apricot jelly


3 garlic cloves
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp black peppercorns
7 tbsp kosher salt
1 ½ tbsp sea salt
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp yellow mustard seed
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp bay leaves
½ tsp powdered ginger
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
1 beef brisket
⅔ gallon water
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 small leek

Crush garlic, coriander, allspice and peppercorns. In pan, stir and heat first 12 ingredients until salt and sugar dissolve. Let mixture cool. Place brisket in nonreactive container with marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours. Preheat oven to 275. Place brisket in large casserole, discarding marinade. Cover with water and bring to boil on medium heat. Add onion, carrot and leek. Reduce to simmer and cover with parchment paper and lid. Cook 8 to 10 hours until tender (about 90 minutes per pound). Refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours).

Roughly chop brisket and place in medium bowl. Add shallots, veal glaze, vinegar, chives, parsley and mustard. Stir, then add butter and combine thoroughly. Taste and season with pepper if needed. Place mixture in serving bowl and top with ⅛-inch layer jelly. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer.

PHOTO: Brian Leatart
FOOD STYLIST: Leisel Maggiore
LINENS: Geary's