Tujague’s History: The Famous Tujague’s Brisket
Location: Tujague's Restaurant
There’s nothing like a fresh brisket, especially from New Orleans. There’s much rich history at Tujague’s that resides in Madam Castet’s Boiled Brisket of Beef, the classic butcher’s meal. In the early 1900s, hungry butchers from the New Orleans French Market across the street from Tujague’s, grew to expect the long-simmered brisket, an inexpensive but tender cut of beef full of flavor, as part of their meal. Read on to find out more about this historical New Orleans dish.
When It All Started
Madam Bégué’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery, originally published in 1900, underwent small changes with each reprinting. At some point, Clemence Castet, the Madam of the Tujague’s dining room from 1914 until her death in 1969, was persuaded to add her famous Boiled Brisket of beef to the recipe collection. It appeared in the 1937 edition.
“If your beef brisket is not of the tender variety you may have to let it cook longer—deft prodding with a large fork will inform you when it is ready to satisfy your inner man.” – Madam Bégué’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery, 1900
It’s All About The Sauce
New Orleans, where flavor abounds, is known for our delicious sauces and spices. The special Creole touch of this brisket is indeed in the cold, spicy red sauce, heavily spiked with horseradish and fiery, course-ground Creole mustard. It’s what sets this dish apart and makes it more than your ordinary brisket. Another local claim to fame, Creole mustard was actually first made commercially by Emile Zatarain and was a staple in Creole kitchens by the late nineteenth century.
4 lb. beef brisket, trimmed
1 gallon water
¼ cup salt
12 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 turnips, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 onions, sliced
½ small head cabbage, chopped
2 leeks, thoroughly washed, sliced (white and pale green parts)
2 large tomatoes, preferably Creole, quartered
Horseradish Sauce (recipe follows)
Place the brisket and water in a very large Dutch oven or deep soup pot, add the salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Add celery, turnips, carrots, onions, cabbage, leeks, and tomatoes. Let the pot return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the beef is tender, about 2 ½ hours. As it cooks, skim the surface of the water frequently to remove any skum that may accumulate.
Remove the brisket and reserve the cooking liquid and vegetables for other uses. Serve the brisket with Creole mustard and Horseradish sauce.
Makes 2 Cups
This sauce also doubles as a cocktail sauce for cold, boiled shrimp and crab and is a local favorite!
½ cup creamed horseradish
½ cup Creole mustard
1 cup ketchup
Couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients. Chill the mixture for 6-8 hours or overnight to marry the flavors.
Experience Madam Castet’s Boiled Brisket
Come join us to try our famous brisket in the French Quarter! See our full menu online, and call 504-525-8676 to reserve your table today.
If you’re interested in learning more about the rich history of Tujague’s and the New Orleans food scene, check out Poppy Tooker’s Tujague’s Cookbook! This book is filled with memorabilia, ghost stories, famous recipes and more to delight your favorite foodie.