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Ideas for cooking a piece of brisket

I've been meaning to try cooking brisket for many years, and I've finally got round to buying a piece.

I realise that it needs braising or pot roasting, but are there any great recipe ideas out there (not including recipes for salt beef, pastrami or corned beef).

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  1. I make it different every time, but this weekend I made it braised in ginger beer and the pickling juice from a jar of pepperocini. I always put carrots and celery underneath and tons of sliced onions on top (serve onions on the side when done). Anyway, the gravy tasted just like sauerbraten gravy from the ginger beer, I'd definitely do it this way again.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Coll, would you add potatoes too, or would the ginger beer be too much for them?

      How about a Dark and Stormy brisket, now that might me pretty good too. I just might try that next time.

      1. re: hummingbird

        I stopped ading potatoes to my brisket and other braised meats, because they come out discolored. I made potato croquettes with it the other day, sometimes I make potato pancakes too. Or just oven roasted potatoes on the side.

    2. I found this a few years ago in a newsapaper food article and have made it a few times. It's called Darrington Penitentiary "BBQ'D" Brisket.I have just gotten a backyard smoker so the next brisket I do will be BBQ'd the real way. But the following recipe is really good and according to the introduction in the book it was culled from, supposedly :"Benny Wade Clewis does not really like his brisket this way, but at Darrington Penitentiary, he doesn’t have any choice in the matter!”

      (I made this with a lean cut Brisket and halved the recipe....i.e. 4lbs. brisket in 3 pieces and half of all other ingredients. It was good. It made an amazing sandwich)

      DP BBQ Brisket
      1⁄4 cup Liquid smoke
      4 cups Beef broth
      2 Bay leaves
      2 cups chopped onion
      2 cups chopped carrot
      1⁄2 cup Chopped celery
      1⁄2 cup chopped Green pepper
      1⁄4 cup salt
      3 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
      1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
      1 tsp. Fresh milled black pepper
      1⁄2 cup Cider vinegar
      8-10 lb. Beef Brisket, Packers’ cut (Untrimmed)

      Combine all ingredients except the brisket in A Dutch oven and stir to blend. Add brisket and water to cover. Marinate overnight in refrigerator. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, turning brisket to avoid burning. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Transfer Brisket to a chopping block and cut into slices. Return to Dutch oven and cook in oven for 2 hours or until very tender. Makes 10 servings.

      1. My market had brisket on sale a couple of weeks ago so I put half in the freezer and braised the other half in red wine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc. Easy and absolutely delicious with mashed potatoes.

        1. 1 packet dry onion soup mix
          1 jar Heinz chili sauce
          1 can Coca Cola
          A splash of wine...if you want

          Simmer for four or five hours, until tender. So easy, so tasty!

          1 Reply
          1. re: nicoleberry83

            I use this recipe all the time. It's delicious

          2. I like -- no REALLY like -- a traditional brisket which is flavored primarily with onions and intensely beefy. My mother's brisket. You may want to try the traditional first before venturing off into variations.
            I've adapted Gourmet's version -- which is called "my mother's brisket" though Mom's of the 60's used onion soup mix. Gourmet is very good -- cook down alot of onions and add water which concentrates the onion flavor and gets meltingly good over hours. I add some sliced portabella mushrooms for the last hour, when I also remove the meat, slice and return to the pan (otherwise meat falls apart when you try to slice when fully cooked and oh so tender)


            5 Replies
            1. re: NYchowcook

              This Gourmet recipe sounds like the classic I was looking for to make for Hanukkah. Do you think I could replace some or all of the water with red wine? I'm trying to evoke childhood memories here.

              1. re: mhoffman

                It IS a classic brisket. Great onion flavor and very beefy.

                I'm not averse to cooking with wine, but I would stick w/ the water and no wine for this dish. Childhood memories are evoked for me from the onion flavor.

              2. re: NYchowcook

                NYchowcook, Im going to give this recipe a try (my husband is jewish and Ive been meaning to cook brisket for him for years)as it sounds most like the brisket I enjoy when visiting his relatives. One question, do you slice the meat before you chill it (ie: straight out of the oven) or once cold?

                1. re: button

                  Sounds like you've already made it now so may now have your own opinion about what would work best-- but anyway, I can also attest to the greatness of this recipe-- have made it several times, always tender falling apart greatness. (I think I used a little wine once, and have sometimes used some beef stock for *extra* beefy flavor).
                  I'd say definitely definitely definitely wait to slice until it's chilled. (It's much easier to slice into nice slices when cold, which is particularly important if you want nice thin slices).
                  I agree with opinion below that a crockpot wouldn't do it. Careful that you make it in a large enough pan, though-- the water will boil up as the meat cooks, so you don't want it to be in something just barely big enough.

                  1. re: another_adam

                    I did slice the meat when it was chilled and it worked perfectly - could imagine being knee deep in gravy and bits of meat if I tried it when it was warm/hot...if the weather wasnt so hot at the moment Id be at the butcher tonight.

              3. Will both a Dutch oven and a crockpot produce the same results for a piece of meat like brisket?

                1 Reply
                1. re: BangorDin

                  I make brisket in a large roasting pan. I would so "no" to the crockpot because (1) I like to roast the meat in oven dry at high heat for 1/2 hour before starting the braise, (2) roasting in a pan does good things to the onions on which the meat sits, (3) I like to slice the brisket 1 hr before done and put back in same shape, (4) I don't think a crockpot is big enough, particularly to keep meat in its longish state, and (5) I don't own a crock pot.

                2. This is sinfully good:

                  3⁄4 c. soy sauce
                  1⁄4 c. oil
                  1⁄4 c. lemon juce
                  4 tbls. Worchestershire
                  2 or 3 dashes liquid smoke
                  2 tbls. Onion
                  1 tbsp. Black pepper
                  1 tsp. garlic powder
                  1⁄2 tsp. sage
                  1⁄2 tsp oregano
                  Jalapeno peppers

                  Add all ingredients to cooking pan. Put halfed jalapenos on top of meat. Coevr and cook all night @ 250 degrees- about 12 hours

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Spencer

                    Wow! That does sound good. I've never cooked one in the oven. Only a pot roast on the stove top. I like to marinade the brisket overnight in whatever I have on hand in the fridge ie italian dressing, soy sauce, teriaki sauce, beer, spices. then I brown it on both sides on my gas grill. Wrap in a large cooking bag and foil (or just the foil) and move it over to the indirect heat side and smoke for about 6 hours. If I remember, I flip it about once every hour. It comes out very tender, cool it and slice it for sandwiches or better yet, brisket tacos with hot sauce, pico de gallo and homemade quacomole. Ummm!

                    1. re: SAnativegirl

                      Yeah, personally, I always smoke mine indirect with oak until internal temp is 195-205f. That Fiesta brand brisket rub is pretty good too.
                      I know a fella in East Texas that swears by cooking them in a grocery store paper bag. Never tried it though.

                  2. Thanks for all your suggestions, they all look great - I haven't decided which I'll go for yet, but I'm sure I'll use all of them in the future. One question is what is liquid smoke? Can it be bought in England, or is there something similar I can use?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Theresa

                      Theresa - Liquid Smoke is basically water that has paseed thru hickory smoke thereby taking on a very smokey flavor. I'm not a huge fan of it and now that I have a smoker will probably not use it much. But. For the Darrington Pen. Brisket recipe you will need it or you will not get the right taste. It's for sure available on line though here in the States most Supermarkets carry it. I don't know if you want to go through all that.What would probably work instead is actually smoking the brisket over hickory smoke for an hour or two over low heat. Then proceeding with the recipe. But that defeats the ease that this recipe is meant for. Good Luck with whatever recipe you choose.

                    2. Instead of liquid smoke, which is literally concentrated smoke essence and gives food a smokey flavor (use it extremely moderatly) you can finish your brisket on the barbie, and or use smoked paprika or chipotles (smoked red jalepenos)

                      for a southern (US) barbecue flavor, you can use ketchup, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, some chili peppers (especially chipotle, and paprika,and some white wine

                      After braising in the oven for a long time on a low heat, till its nice and soft, you can refrigerate it for while and meanwhile reduce the braising liquid till it thickens a little.

                      then fire up your barbecue and finish the brisket on the barbie,just put on a low heat/fire ideally with wood chips,keep brushing it with the braising liquid ,untill its glazed up a little and slightly charred
                      then you can avoid liquid smoke altogether

                      Try ginger, scallions, and soy/fish sauce, with a little white wine.
                      for an asian flavor.

                      1. I keep recommending Joan Nathan's recipe from "Jewish Cooking in America." I've posted it here a few times. It's got chili sauce & beer in it, always get raves.

                        1. I just posted this under "Hanukkah Menu" but it bears repeating:

                          Potato latkes and brisket are a match made in heaven! I've developed a hybridized recipe -- a combination of my mom's chili sauce/beer recipe and a recipe from Arthur Schwartz's website. I used to be able to listen to Arthur's radio show when he was on WOR in NYC, and I miss him.

                          Here's the link to Arthur's recipe:

                          The onions in this recipe really make an outstanding gravy.
                          Assuming I'm making a whole brisket, what I do to enhance the recipe is to add 2 bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce and 2 bottles of a good dark beer to the roasting pan. After the brisket is cooked I use my immersion blender to puree some of the onions and vegetables, leaving some unprocessed for texture. YUM!!!!

                          1. Use one can Dr.Pepper and 1/2 cup Worcestershire as a marinade,marinade in ziplock bag,lay flat on plate or large bowl,flip every 12 hours for 48 hours then slather a layer of good BBQ on the outside and bake,fat side up,in a roasting pan with the lid off,for 1 hour per pound at 275 degrees or until falling apart.Then last 15 minutes put another thick layer of BBQ over the top and then turn up to 375.You'll say to yourself I love candy and meat at the same time.-You can thank me later.

                            1. I like the sweet and sour brisket in the Joy of Cooking (1990s edition).

                              1. My first experience with brisket was my mother-in-law's -- sprinkled with a package of onion soup mix, slathered with ketchup, add a little water in the bottom of a casserole and seal tightly with foil -- and cook long and slow.

                                I now like the more traditionals with real onions and various liquids.

                                I once made a Moraccan brisket -- long braise with tomatoes, onions, and spices. I'll see if I can find the recipe. I'm now braving it again. It was different than the "traditional" Jewish versions, but really really good.

                                1. NY chowcook, meant to tell you that I tried the epicurious brisket recipe and tested it on my jewish husband - the whole thing (huge piece of meat, 1.5kg) was gone in two days, along with the statement 'this is the best meal Ive ever had'. Mind you, thats not the first time he's said that (his stomach has a short memory) but nevertheless, it indicates a very strong thumbs up. I didnt add the mushrooms but will do next time.