OTTAWA -- February and comfort food are words that are meant to be used together.

True confessions; food specialist Korey Kealey and I think comfort food works at any time and every season. 

If you can create additional meals from a comfort food classic, well, that’s just more comforting.

Korey’s latest twist is on a traditional brisket. 

"Brisket is a tough and fatty cut of meat that is economical. Low and slow is the way to cook this cut of meat," explains Kealey.

After enjoying that family meal, she suggests using the leftover beef for tacos.

To finish, Kealey suggests a Tiramisu with caramelized apples.

Kealey describes the recipes as super easy with just a bit of planning ahead.

"Trying to enjoy the outdoors and work from home can cut into our food prep time," says Kealey.

"Some advance prep with visibility in the fridge makes throwing together a dinner easier."

We always ask Kealey to share tips to help stretch those grocery dollars.

"Buy large amounts of produce that keep well like apples, cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and greenhouse tomatoes."

Kealey suggests regularly prepping veggies and storing them in containers in the fridge.  Those containers may just inspire you to make salads, tacos, wraps and soups.

"Shredded carrots and cabbage give colour, and volume, to meals," reminds Kealey.

"Shopping the flyers, and buying from local farmers, can save money and support our local economy at the same time."

Getting back to brisket, Kealey suggests, "Cut brisket into manageable sized roasts (3-4lbs).  Cook one and freeze the others for toss in the crock pot or Instant Pot at a future date."

"Shake up the sauce from the typical smokey bbq with a sweet and savory or a Spanish salsa.

"Be sure to save any excess juices to add to soup at a later time."

For dessert, Kealey shares a recipe for Tiramisu.

“Tiramisu is a simple and decadent creamy Italian dessert with espresso as the starring flavor," said Kealey.

"Shake up the concept for those non-coffee lovers with caramelized apples."

Kealey says you can make this recipe as parfaits or make the traditional pan-version.

Sweet and Savoury Slow-Cooker Brisket

Sweet and Savoury Slow-Cooker Brisket


If time permits, make this hearty comfort food a day ahead and refrigerate overnight. It will be easier to remove excess fat and slice before reheating in the sauce. Slice against the grain for a fork-tenderness that will almost melt into the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes. 

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Slow-Cooker Time: 6 hours on low
  • Serves 8


  • 4 lb (2 kg) Ontario Beef Brisket   
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) each salt and pepper              
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
  • 3 cups (750 mL) thinly sliced Ontario Onions                                                 
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped Ontario Garlic                                  
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sweet-style chili sauce     
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) Ontario Honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL)  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh Ontario Parsley


Pat brisket dry; season both sides with salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, brown brisket on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Add half of the onions and half of the garlic to slow-cooker; top with brisket. 

Discard fat from skillet; return skillet to heat. Add chili sauce, honey, raisins, vinegar, mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice and bay leaves; stir until just boiling, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of skillet. Pour over brisket; top with remaining onions and garlic. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours, or until brisket is tender but still resistant when pierced with fork. 

Remove brisket to cutting board; discard any fat from the sauce. If there are 2 layers of meat, separate them and discard centre fat layer. Slice brisket thinly against the grain. Serve sliced meat and sauce sprinkled with parsley.

Nutritional Information: 

1 Serving

  • PROTEIN:  43 grams
  • FAT: 16 grams
  • CARBOHYDRATE: 40 grams
  • CALORIES: 478
  • FIBRE: 1 gram
  • SODIUM: 1080 mg


Caramelized Apple Tiramisu

Enjoy the flavours of the holidays in this creamy, decadent Italian inspired dessert. Made ahead, individually portioned and ready to serve, this is an impressive finish to your meal.

  • Chilling Time: 3-1/2 hours or up to 1 day
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 6


  • 4-1/2 cups (1.125 L) sliced peeled Ontario Apples, such as Crispin (about 3 large)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) Ontario Honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Ontario Mascarpone Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% Ontario Whipping Cream
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground ginger and cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely crumbled gingersnap cookies


In large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. In large skillet over high heat, melt sugar and butter, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low; cook, stirring until mixture bubbles, turns deep golden brown, about 1 minute. Add apples and simmer, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. (This mixture will harden when apples are added, but will soften once apple juices are released.) In small bowl, stir together 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the honey, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of water and cornstarch. Stir into skillet; cook, stirring until sauce thickens. Transfer to heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium chilled bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat mascarpone and whipping cream until thick and creamy. Add remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the honey, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat until firm peaks form. Set aside 1/4 cup (50 mL).

Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture into 6 clear glasses, dividing equally. Sprinkle with half of the crumbled cookies; top with half of the caramelized apples, dividing equally. Repeat layers. Top with dollop of reserved mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 1 day. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

TIP: Other apple choices include Ontario Ida Red, Northern Spy or Spartan.

Nutritional information

  • Calories: 608
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 47 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 42 grams
  • Fibre: 2 grams
  • Sodium: 150 mg