Beef Brisket: 7 Bold and Beautifully Tender Tastes
When it’s done right, there’s nothing better than a beef brisket. A Sunday-supper staple for generations, brisket is all that we love about beef—it’s tender and full of meaty flavor.
But this is no ordinary pot roast. Because a brisket is actually cut from the cow’s pectoral muscles, where the animal carries most of its weight, it’s very dense, with lots of connective tissue. In order to transform your brisket into a roast so tender you could cut it with a butter knife, you need just one technique: a low, slow roast, preferably with moisture.
Want to amp up the flavor? Use a dry rub before cooking—it will help the meat develop an appealing caramelized bark and infuse the whole roast with spices.
We’ve got seven brisket recipes that will serve as the centerpiece for any family meal, from a slow-cooker saucy brisket to a Texas-style smoked masterpiece. You really can’t go wrong with any one of them. Oh, and one last important tip: When you’re slicing your brisket, make sure to cut against the grain for the most tender bites. It’s a small step that will make a big difference.
The Spicy Grilled Brisket pictured above is for those of you who like a little heat in your meals. It’s cooked over mesquite wood chips, low and slow. A dash of cayenne pepper gives the barbecue-style sauce a fiery kick.
Oven-Barbecued Brisket: This cooking method mimics a barbecue in your oven. First, a dry rub is applied, then the meat is roasted with very little liquid. After two hours, a tomato-based sauce is added, which lends moisture to the meat.
Saucy Brisket: Some dishes are extremely well suited for the slow cooker, and brisket is one of them. This recipe yields a tender roast with lots of barbecue-style sauce that, along with mashed potatoes or lasagna noodles, makes a great weeknight meal.
Texans’ Beef Brisket:If you have a smoker, you can’t go wrong with brisket, inspired by the Lone Star state. This Texas-style recipe with vinegar mop sauce will amaze your guests with its deep hickory flavor. (You can also use pecan wood or mesquite.)
Hanukkah Brisket: Brisket is popular during many Jewish holidays, and this recipe is a traditional preparation for Hanukkah. Carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, port wine, onion-soup mix, basil, and bay leaves give this brisket deliciously complex flavor.
Red-Wine-Braised Beef Brisket: Though it might seem surprising, sour flavors actually make savory dishes taste more deeply savory—it’s a trick of the tongue that never fails to delight. This wine-braised briskets gets that sourness from vinegar and tart apples.
Chile- and Beer-Braised Brisket: You don’t have to stick to slices—brisket is also fantastic shredded into tacos. Here, it’s braised in a flavorful combination of lager and dried New Mexican chiles, leagues better than most tacos you can find this side of the border.