In the spirit of repurposing leftovers, today I am sharing my leftover brisket salad with chimichurri. This is a perfect dish for those who usually bypass salads, claiming to be “meat and potatoes” people. Well, guess what? This is a meat and potato salad! It happens to be a hearty meal, packed with flavor, and is also a terrific way to give new life to that delicious beefy goodness that is a nicely cooked brisket.
In our home, Steve usually smokes our briskets. And what an AMAZING job he does, too! Since he needs hours to do that and I had a last-minute hankering for brisket, I obviously had to make it myself.
I took a brisket point that we had in the chest freezer and carved as much fat as I could out of it. Then I seasoned it really well, browned it and then braised it in beef broth in the pressure cooker for an hour. That brisket never knew what hit it. I had to lift it whole out of the pan or it would have broken apart just by dragging it out. Which meant it was perfect for pulled beef.
We enjoyed our pulled brisket, served over veggies, and topped with an onion and mustard beef gravy. But then we had a lot leftovers. Remember, both sons are gone and it is just the two of us now. And that brisket point was kinda large. Well, this salad is a tasty solution to my leftover problem.
let’s make the leftover brisket and chimichurri salad
To make a leftover brisket and chimichurri salad, you need some chimichurri. Chimichurri is an uncooked herb sauce commonly served with meats in Argentina. It is herby, tangy, garlicky and somewhat spicy, depending on your taste. In other words, it is amazing.
Start with the sauce because it needs to set in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before using so that the flavors can really infuse the olive oil.
By the way, the red pepper flakes are essential, in my book. But I understand some people don’t care for heat. Use as little or as much as you can tolerate.
Put everything except the salt, pepper, and the olive oil in a food processor. Process it just short of smooth. You want some bits of herb leaf to still show.
Then transfer the processed mix to a bowl and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar as well as the salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.
Cover and place in the refrigerator.
This is what you need to make the leftover brisket salad with chimichurri.
Because brisket is one of those cuts that screams “beefy”, it needs to be supported by ingredients that can stand up. The chimichurri sauce, as you saw from the ingredients, has a ton of character. And watercress, one of my favorite leafy greens, is so bright and peppery. But in the end, you need a bit of creamy neutrality to bring all those bold flavors together, which is where the Yukon Gold new potatoes come in. They are sweet and tender and just the right foil for all that “in your face” stuff going on in the rest of the salad.
First, boil the potatoes in salted water, with the skin on, until tender. Be careful not to over-cook or the skin will crack and peel. When tender, transfer them immediately to cool water to stop the cooking process, and to cool them for the salad. The potatoes should be room temperature or they will wilt that beautiful watercress.
Next, slice each potato in half and place all the cut potatoes in a large bowl.
Add about 8 full teaspoons of chimichurri to the potatoes and gently toss to coat well. Then add the water cress and the pulled brisket. Again, toss until everything is well dressed in the chimichurri.
Once the salad is dressed, pour it into a family-sized serving platter and take it to the table so everyone can help themselves.
Be sure to take what’s left of the chimichurri too, in case someone wants more. If you have any left, it will be even better then next day, and will taste great over grilled steak, chicken or fish.
Isn’t it pretty? And boy, it sure wakes up the old taste buds!
No kidding, guys. This leftover brisket salad with chimichurri makes me, my mouth, and my tummy VERY, VERY happy. I bet it will do the same for you!
- FOR THE CHIMICHURRI
- 1 cup Italian parsley, tightly packed
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tablespoon dry)
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- ¾ cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Cracked pepper
- FOR THE SALAD
- 12 Yukon Gold new potatoes, about the size of golf balls
- 8 teaspoons chimichurri sauce, or to taste
- 3 cups watercress, loosely packed
- 4 cups leftover cooked pulled brisket
- For the chimichurri, place all the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor.
- Process until just short of smooth.
- Then transfer to a bowl, and add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Next, stir and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes
- While the chimichurri is chilling, boil the new potatoes with skin in salted water until tender. Do not over-cook or the skin will split and peel.
- When tender, place the potatoes immediately in a cold bath.
- After they have cooled, slice each potato in half.
- Then place them in a large bowl and gently toss with the chimichurri sauce.
- Next, add the watercress and pulled beef.
- Toss to coat.
- Finally, transfer to a large serving platter and serve immediately.