My Venture into Tough Cuts of Beef
Doesn't this brisket look yummy?! It makes you want to go out and braise your own, doesn't it?
When I make barbecued beef, I first start by braising a brisket as described below. Before shredding the beef, I strain the stock and save it to use in another recipe. After shredding the meat, I pour homemade barbecue sauce all over the brisket and bake it another hour. I did just that with this brisket and will post my barbecued beef recipe on Friday. Everything worked great except for one small thing. I forgot to take a picture of it before I added the barbecue sauce! After I pulled the brisket out of oven, the smell was driving me insane. This brisket, even without barbecue sauce, is a killer. In fact, I kept picking off little pieces of brisket while it was cooling. Luckily, I remembered to take pictures of the barbecued version. Because I forgot to take pictures of the braised brisket before I added the barbecue sauce, I decided to post an artistic drawing of what the brisket looked like when I first pulled it out of the oven. Doesn't it look yummy! You're lucky I drew a picture. I had considered posting a video of my doing an interpretative dance wearing nothing but a one-piece, spandex outfit with gold lamé leggings. I decided against it since my big, spandex-covered patootie has been known to frighten young children, small pets, and any mammal with functioning eyes.
Bad drawing aside, this braised brisket is really good. You have to try it even if you don't eventually plan to use it in a barbecue beef recipe. Just whip up some mashed potatoes and gravy and you'll have the perfect Sunday dinner. Enjoy – and happy braising!
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3 lbs trimmed brisket
Liberal amount of salt and pepper
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 head of garlic, cloves roughly chopped
1 cup beef stock
1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
1/4 tsp pepper
Step 1: Liberally salt and pepper the brisket (both the top and bottom). Place on a rimmed sheet pan, cover, and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Step 2: About 1/2 hour before cooking, take the brisket out of the refrigerator and let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 275F. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the brisket to the dutch oven and sauté for about 7 minutes or until the brisket is deep brown. Flip and repeat. Remove the brisket from the pot and place it on a large plate to rest.
Step 4: Add the onion and carrots to the pot. Allow the veggies to cook for a minute then start scraping up the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the stock, Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the brisket and any accumulated juices. Allow the broth to return to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and bake for 5 hours – flipping the brisket after 2 1/2 hours.
Step 5: After 5 hours, the brisket should be falling apart. If it isn't, return it to the oven for another 30 to 60 minutes. Allow the brisket to rest in the broth for about 30 minutes before removing.
Step 6: Remove the brisket from the broth and then slice or shred.
Step 7: Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer – using the bottom of a ladle to help coax all of the wonderful juices from the veggies as they are being strained. Discard the vegetable solids. At this point, you can make gravy with the broth or use it for another purpose. The broth freezes well. If freezing, simply strain it into a bowl but do not remove any fat that floats to the surface. The layer of fat will help to protect the broth from freezer burn. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator. The chilled fat on the surface can be easily pulled off and discarded. As with any homemade stock that has been frozen, make sure you bring it to a full boil before eating to kill any microorganisms that might have survived the freezing process.