February 14, 2008
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I tossed a beef brisket in the slow cooker the other day, trying out a promising new recipe. It was simple enough. Had a can of tomato soup and a package of dried onion soup mix in it and, of course, simmered slowly all day long. The recipe called for two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and two tablespoons of brown sugar to be added to the “pot liquor” at the end of cooking time.
To get to the heart of the story, by the time the beef was fork-tender and before adding the final touches, I tasted – and it was horrible. Too acid, too tomatoey, too skimpy. I was ready to toss it. But cooler heads prevailed.
I added the final touches and let it go a bit longer.
To my amazement, about half an hour later another taste revealed one of the most delightfully flavored briskets imaginable. We made up some mashed potatoes and peas to make the meal complete. It was a wonderful meal.
The moral of this story – and my reason for sharing it – is not to judge things or people before they have a chance to play themselves out a bit. Give the pot the benefit of the doubt before shutting it down.