Parchment paper provides a nonreactive barrier between the cola-based braising liquid and the aluminum foil.
1 (3 1/2-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound onions, halved and sliced to 1/2 inch think
2 cups of cola
1 1/2 cups ketchup
4 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. Using fork, poke holes all over brisket. Rub entire surface of brisket with 1 tablespoon salt. Wrap brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 or up to 24 hours.
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place brisket fat side down in skillet; weigh down brisket with heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove Dutch oven, flip brisket, and replace Dutch oven on top of brisket; cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer brisket to plate.
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread into even layer.
4. Combine cola, ketchup, onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Place brisket fat side up on top of onions and pour cola mixture over brisket. Place parchment paper over brisket and cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until tender and fork easily slips in and out of meat, 3½ to 4 hours. Let brisket rest in liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer brisket to carving board. Skim any fat from top of sauce with large spoon. Slice brisket against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and return to baking dish. Serve brisket with sauce.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Follow recipe through step 4. Allow brisket to cool in sauce, cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. To serve, slice brisket, return to sauce, and cover with parchment paper. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook in 350-degree oven until heated through, about 1 hour.
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
INSTRUCTIONS1. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Add them to the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn't boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.
3. As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Press the potatoes through a ricer to create a creamy consistency without over mashing. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, stir in the hot milk mixture with a whisk or rubber spatula. Add enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper, and serve hot. To keep the potatoes warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes. You can add a little extra hot milk to keep them creamy.