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Roasted spaghetti squash with brisket jam

By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

(April 16, 2020) Oh, what a wild ride this has been. My heart goes out to those north of us who were just battered by the recent nor’easter, but I am glad that we dodged the bullet on that one.

Minus some trees down, I know that many of us did not receive the massive punch that we were told was coming.

But let’s talk about the big issue at hand. Like everyone else, I have had a range of emotions on the current crisis, more than anything, it has given me the opportunity to eat more hot meals with my children than I have in years — the silver lining in a very dark cloud, indeed.

Being able to step away from the restaurant has given me the opportunity to work on side projects, concentrate my future efforts on menu, money management and personnel issues. And it has given me more than ample time to clear out some of the junk in my house.

After an especially long day last week, I sat on my back porch, my hair a disaster, unshaven, apparently having forgotten what a shower is.

I mean, you have seen the memes online, haven’t you? I was nigh unapproachable in that state, and yes, I have certainly showered since. Have no fear.

The day before, I had smoked two briskets so that I could separate them, wrap and freeze three of the halves, and have the last half for a few meals here. And in one fell swoop, my life was forever changed.

For those of you who have been to the restaurant, or who are aware of these musings, you have heard me ramble on about bacon jam. Sweet, sweet bacon jam.

That ubiquitous topping on our menu that can accompany anything that your little heart desires.

Yes, I indeed did want bacon jam but I had no bacon on hand. And, I am not sure why it never dawned on me, but it hit me like a lightning bolt and a lightbulb over my head simultaneously.

Brisket Jam.

Yes, my eyes rolled back in my head, I salivated like Pavlov’s Dogs at just the mental mention of this finely crafted food, and I set out to experiment a little.

Brisket, onion, vinegar and brown sugar. That’s all that I would need, and sure enough, I had it all in the pantry.

Dicing the brisket, I chortled as I could already smell the crazy concoction and I was elated at such a simple creation. Bacon is smoked, brisket is smoked.

This should work. But I have no idea, as often some of the most disgusting-sounding foods are incredible and, of course, the inverse certainly holds true.

As the aroma of my new Easy Street treat wafted past my nose, I froze in place.

“This is going to be righteous,” I mused internally. And I was right. Rather, my instinct was right.

Am I the true inventor of brisket jam? I doubt it. I can’t imagine that it hasn’t been done a thousand times, but I never heard of it, and once it entered my head, it was all over. It is killer stuff!

This will go great on a burger, chicken sandwich, a salad or in this case on roasted spaghetti sauce. Yes, indeed this was a good one.

Stay safe in these trying times and eat well.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Brisket Jam

serves 4

1 Fresh spaghetti squash

Olive oil, as needed if you halve before you roast

Trimix, as needed

2 c. Brisket jam (recipe follows)

  • The squash may be prepared in one of two ways. The first is to prick the outside with a fork and roast whole, removing seeds later. The second is to halve the squash, remove the seeds, brush with olive oil and place face down on a roasting pan. The second method will give you more mess to clean up, FY.
  • Place the squash in a 375F oven and roast for anywhere from an hour to 1.5 hours. It all depends on your stove’s capabilities.
  • When the squash is tender enough for a knife to easily pierce it, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool just long enough for you to handle it.
  • When cool enough to handle (if roasted whole), halve it, remove the seeds and discard.
  • At this point, you will have two beautifully roasted halves of squash and from here, simply use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash, dividing them among four plates
  • Season accordingly, and top with hot brisket jam

This is definitely a revitalizing dish, as the flavors mesh beautifully.

Serve immediately

Brisket Jam

makes about 1 quart

1 lg. Red onion, julienne

10 oz. Smoked brisket

1/2 c. Red wine vinegar

1/2 c. Dark brown sugar

  • Saute the red onion in a small amount of butter or oil until they are soft and translucent
  • Dice the brisket and add to the onions and cook on a medium heat for about thirty minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and sugar and cook for an additional 30 minutes, ensuring that it never gets to a rolling boil.
  • Adjust to taste (you might like yours sweeter or more sour) and set aside until ready to use.
  • Make sure to serve this hot or at least warm.