So whats the final word? It depends on your usage patterns. If you use vanilla regularly in baked goods like cookies and cakes, theres no reason to spring for the fancy stuff, or even the real stuff—artificial extract will do just fine. If you drink a lot of nog or make uncooked ice cream bases or cold desserts like panna cotta, you might consider buying real extract. But if all you’ve got on hand is artificial extract? Don’t worry, just add a touch of booze to the mix a teaspoon of vodka or bourbon for every teaspoon of extract works, and you’ll do just fine.
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1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Cracked black pepper
3 pound beef brisket
1 medium onion, minced
2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 pounds small potatoes, such as fingerlings
2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan until shimmering. Season brisket with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.
2.Transfer brisket to a slow cooker and add remaining ingredients. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours or until tender.
3. Remove brisket from slow cooker and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain. Place on a platter along with vegetables. Spoon sauce on top or place in a gravy boat to pass alongside.