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Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by monkchef, Jul 12, 2005.
I want to make briskit. I need help, how do I do it? hints? ect?
Wow, that's a big question. There are so many ways to cook brisket; the three best I know of are roasting it, braising it, and smoking it. And I've never had the pleasure of smoking it, although I've eaten the results, which are heavenly (slooooow cooked, full of smoky flavor, yum).
First question back to you: do you have a butcher who can supply you with a good piece? Because the brisket comes from the underside of the cow, it tends to be tough unless cooked gently and slowly, and needs to start out with plenty of fat on it (that's why it is so good for smoking). Can you get a nice, thick piece with a good layer of fat on the outside? That's the first important step in cooking a good one. (If you're roasting, or even better, braising, you can always remove the fat between the time you cook it and serve it, so don't get scared by a good layer of fat; it keeps the meat moist.)
I'll leave the smoking directions to those who know better, but I have had good experiences cooking it in the oven, very simply:
Slice a LOT of peeled onions and a LOT of peeled garlic cloves
Put the onions and garlic in the bottom of a heavy pot with a cover, just big enough to hold the piece of meat
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the big flat sides of the meat; a little paprika is also good
Lay the meat on top of the onions and garlic
Put on the cover, and put the pot into an oven heated to 325 degrees
After about an hour, take it out and have a look; if there's no liquid in the bottom and the onions & garlic are browning, add just a little water
Take a look after another hour. At this time, stick a fork into the meat. If it feels nice and tender, take the pot out of the oven. If not, put it back and check it again in 15 to 30 minutes
Once the meat feels tender, take the pot out of the oven. Put the meat on a plate to cool, and put the cooked onions and juices into a clean container.
If you want to serve it soon, let the meat cool enough so you can slice it across the grain (that means that when you slice it, it looks like a lot of little circles or similar shapes across the slices); if when you slice it, it comes apart into strings, you're cutting in the wrong direction
But it's easier to slice if you put it in the fridge to get really cold (several hours). You can trim off the fat from the outside more easily then, too. Refrigerate the onions, too.
Skim the fat from the top of the cold onions and juices. Put them into a skillet (add a little water or beef broth if there's not much liquid). Put the slices of brisket on top, cover, and heat everything over gentle heat.
That's just one way to do it. I'm sure other folks here can give you more ways.
Like Suzanne said there are a million ways to cook brisket, but any way you cook it, do it slow and slow. If roasting it, I will sear it off in a skillet first then roast it at about 250 degrees. It takes a while but it is well worth it. As for smoking, there is nothing better, but unless you have a serious BBQ rig, it will take a lot of attention. I like to smoke mine for at least 12 hours, slow and low. Some people even go 18 hours but I am not that patient, nor do I relish the idea of tending my weber overnight, since I don't, yet, have a "serious" BBQ rig.
I'm a braising man. I love wet food.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Sear in a large skillet, rondeau pan, etc.
Remove the meat and briefly saute any vegetables you plan on cooking with it. I like root vegetables. Cut them large enough so they're not mush by the time the meat is done.
Add some optional tomato paste and briefly saute that with the vegetables.
Add stock and wine, bring to a boil.
Pour this over the meat in another large pan with a lid.
You can add tougher herbs at this point like rosemary and thyme or save them for when the meat is nearly done cooking or add half at both stages.
Place it in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Finish with some fresh parsely.
I'm a little less systematic about my brisket, not having eaten it as a child. I have family members who don't eat garlic or pepper of any kind, so I have to improvise. Here's what I do:
I buy a full pound of meat per person (more if I want leftovers); it shrinks a lot.
I slice up a couple of large yellow onions. I put 1 of them on the bottom of a roasting pan, then toss in 2 pounds of fresh button mushrooms (halved or quartered, depending on size) and some sprigs of fresh thyme. (I use dry if I don't have fresh). I season the meat with salt, place it on the vegetables, then put another layer of onions/mushrooms/thyme on top. I add some beef stock to the pan (enough for a thin layer on the bottom of the pan) and seal the pan with foil. If I'm cooking it the next day, I refrigerate it at this point, then remove it an hour before cooking the next day to let temperature warm a bit. I bake it in a 325 oven, checking it after 2 hours. I use the same test Suzanne does to see if it's done, then remove it from the pan. I let it rest before slicing it and returning it to the pan.
What I'd rather do is use some type of tomato-based sauce, lots of garlic and carrots. But the family likes this bland version, so that's what I'm asked to do. I'm considering using a little red wine and just not telling anyone next time!
I want to learn how to barbecue beef brisket Texas-style. I LOVE barbecue!
Mezz, I'm shocked!
Hey, my mom was a braised ("gedempte") chicken expert! There were always helzel tucked in the pot, of course. Fact of the matter was that it was very hard to come by a brisket in my home town. There was little call for it in town, so the the only one who carried it was the kosher butcher. (Notice I said the kosher butcher....) His price was astronomical and Mom refused to pay it, so we usually had poultry for traditional meals.
I have smoked a few briskits, basically you need a grill that can provide somthing for the juice off the meat to boil back out of. I place it on a grill (after seasoning)directly above a drip pan filled half way w/ beer or liquid smoke (hatever taste good). Have a charcoal fire below the drip pan.the key is to matain a constant temptature of at least 250 and make sure the drip pan does not empty.get a smokey fire and cook at least six hours. somtimes its easy to cook in the oven then on the grill or vise versa. todqay i cooked it in the oven and was the eassiest one so far.but ther was not much smokey flaver, :chef:
Rember smokey fire for six at least six hours 250 degrees at all times:lips: . good luck. the oven is esayiest.
If the idea is to learn then learn we shall.
Some of the above mentioned suggestions sound delicious and would produce a very tender product. Although I have never experienced a tender brisket in less that 8 hrs of cooking at a temp no higher than 250 deg F.
Smoking is still my favorite technique for brisket but for heavens sake if you do or don't smoke the meat at least do it sloooooooow. For Smoking at least the first half of the cooking time should be devoted to smoke penetration. Understand the smoke will not penetrate meat at temperatures above 170 degrees F. The meat should be handled as little as possible and the lid kept closed for as long as possible but...The meat does have to be flipped every hour or two. That is unless you can afford the 3 Grand for a rotating rack rig.
Then once the 1/2 way or 2/3 mark has passed, crank up the heat in the smoker to that 250 degrees and let'r rip. But as Pete mentions.... you'll have to attend to it religiously for the next 4-6 hours and this is usually done over-night. (the contest participants usually do the brisket last) OR you can pull it out of the smoker/grill/rig and place it in a roasting pan with a rack in the bottom of the pan, cover all tightly with parchment paper and foil and finish in the oven for the next 4-6 hours at 250 deg.
Now I don't compete but....I still follow the KCBS (www.kcbs.us ) guidelines which means "start and finish in the smoker". No matter if it's for the family or when I send the stuff to friends in LA or Phoenix the full smoker method is used. But, since I like to sleep at night, not the over-night method. It's in at 7am and out by 8pm.
Or, if ya really want to try something neat, forego the smoker, brazier or oven and use a rotisserie.
Well first step to making a good brisket is to know how to make a good brisket sop. You had any sop training? Ya see briskets is full of vile greasy nasty tasting stuff and you got to replace whut is in there with whut you got in the form of sop. Now one fella gave out a purty good sop recipe but I skip the turnips and rutabagas veggies if it was me. Good basic sop looks like this:
bay leafs..beer..onyawns and garlic etc.
certain pleasing aromatic spices which do not include cinnamon or nutmeg blah blah blah.