Friday, February 10, 2012

Barbecue Beef Brisket

Brisket is one of the classic barbecue meats.  In fact, to be considered a "Master Barbecue Chef" you have to prove your worth with brisket.  Although it is a tough cut of meat, when cooked slowly it gets tender and juicy, and if you rub in some great seasonings and top it with barbecue sauce, it is heaven on earth!  You can slice it and eat it on its own, or put it on buns for a sandwich (with coleslaw, if you're in to that!).  Last night I served it with a side salad and some garlic mashed potatoes.  Tonight we'll have the leftovers as sandwiches.  Traditionally it's cooked in a pit, or a smoker.  This recipe bakes it in the oven, and I don't think it loses much from the difference except about 8 hours of cooking time! 

This recipe came originially from the cookbook, "Comfort Food Fix" by Ellie Krieger.  However, I've altered her recipe a bit to make the flavors (in my opinion) better, and simplified the instructions as well.

A note on the meat itself: brisket comes in different sizes.  If you get a true whole brisket it will be very large, as in about 14-inches long.  Sometimes butchers separate the brisket into two parts, which makes it about half that size.  This recipe is for the whole long brisket.  If your brisket is of the smaller variety, you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Barbecue Beef Brisket

Rub Ingredients:
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Other ingredients:
One beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat if desired
2 T canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub generously over both sides of the brisket.  Let spices absorb into meat for at least one hour, or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 300F.  In a medium bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.  Whisk together until well mixed.  Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add brisket and sear both sides until deep brown, about 8 minutes total.  If using a dutch oven, you can bake it in that pan.  Otherwise, transfer brisket to a roasting pan.  Add water and 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce.  Cover tightly and transfer to oven.  Cook until the meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove meat from pan and place on cutting board to rest.  Transfer pan drippings to a medium saucepan.  Add remaining barbecue sauce to the drippings and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has reduced slightly, 5-10 minutes. 

After brisket has rested at least 5 minutes, slice into 1/4-inch slices.  Serve with the sauce.

Makes 6-8 servings.

No comments: