Corn Bread & Brisket Patty Melt
2 lb (1 kg) beef brisket
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) chicken stock
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Olive oil spray
1 1/4 cups (61/4 oz/195 g) cornmeal
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) all-purpose flour
11/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
3 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
4 green onions, minced
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz/375 g) whole milk
1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into thick rounds
4 slices Gruyère cheese
Unsalted butter for frying
* Makes 4 enormous sandwiches,
1. To make the brisket, cut the meat into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. In a wide pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the brisket and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté until softened and caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, brown sugar, and tomato paste and sauté for 3—4 minutes. Add the stock and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the meat is falling apart and tender, 2—3 hours. Add water if the pan begins to dry. The meat should be just barely covered with liquid when it is ready. If there is too much liquid at the end, transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced.
2. To make the corn bread, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 9-inch (23-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with olive oil.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, chiles, and green onions. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, and olive oil. Add the milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and fold just until the batter is blended; it will be slightly lumpy. Add the egg and fold until blended.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, in a heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook, turning once, until deeply caramelized, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) pieces.
6. Cut the corn bread into 4 equal pieces, then halve each piece horizontally. Place one-fourth of the braised beef on the cut side of a bottom piece of corn bread. Top with 1 tablespoon of the onion, a slice of cheese, and then the top piece of corn bread, cut side down. Repeat to make 3 more sandwiches. In a large nonstick frying pan, melt about 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the sandwiches, turning once and adding butter as needed, until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve right away.