HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


sides with brisket

My boyfriends brother is visiting from out-of-town and has requested brisket. I will be braising in beer/chili sauce/lots of onions/garlic, refrigerating overnight, slicing, and rewarming in bbq.

Consequently, I made this same entree last time he visited; it lingers in his mind. :) Anyway, Id like to change up the sides but lack inspiration. Last time we had roasted cauliflower and sauteed corn with peppers, chilis, and red onion.

For an appetizer we are having hot garlicky artichoke dip (which I found on CH and have made many times to rave reviews) and dessert will be a rum cake that is "marinating" as I type.

The only items not liked are "chunky tomatoes" and mushrooms. Also, we are urban, so no grill available. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Egg noodles, mashed potatoes, couscous, polenta. Pretty much anything to soak up the sauce. And garlic roasted asparagus. Or Barefoot Contessa's string beans with shallots.

    1 Reply
    1. re: valerie

      Second the mashed, especailly if you ramp them up with garlic and cream cheese or boursin, and polenta is also a great choice with brisket.

    2. In Texas, where brisket is serious BBQ, the BBQ joints serve pinto beans, potato salad, bread to sop up sauce, pickle chips, raw onion rings and for desert nana puddin with vanilla wafers. To drink, the men have beer, the women have sweet tea and the children have root beer or "Big Red" soda.

      I suppose if you have to, you could serve pork n beans or Bush's grilling beans.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tonka11_99

        I want a big plate of all of that now.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Me too! I ate that meal alot when I lived in New Mex. (I was only 10 miles from TX) but make that cornbread and sub out the pickles for slices of raw jalapeno.

          You could also do a roasted potato salad with red onion, bell peppers and/or poblano chiles, fresh oregano and a little cumin with a garlicy vinaigrette. Personally, I'd be happy with a side of fried okra to go that brisket.

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Speaking of potato salad, this one, which linguafood turned me onto, is supposed to be very good. And it's anything but predictable!


        2. re: tonka11_99

          I've never been a fan of the traditional sides for BBQ here in Texas. IThey're usually super market quality (sickly sweet potato salad and kfc style cole slaw) and even at the best hill country bbq shrines (where they may not have sauce or utensils) they seem like a weak afterthought. It's definitely traditional but one that I prefer upgrading or doing without.

          I love to see the basic meat-and-three sides. Stuff like mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, salad, greens, corn, okra, etc... Instead of the Mrs. Bairds loaf get some fresh yeast rolls or cornbread.

        3. A mash of potatoes and peeled, cubed celery root, small red potatoes cooked in skins. About 1/3 potatoes to 2/3 celery root. Cook until tender in 1/2 milk and 1/2 water and drain and mash, leaving skin on potatoes. Salt and pepper, etc.

          1. The last brisket I BBQed, I had a big baked Sweet potato...butter and a drizzle of Steen's...It was pure candy!

            1. I work in a large office building with a Sysco catering cafeteria. The only lunch they serve that is worthwhile is BBQ brisket with a very light, slightly spicy corn souffle. It's kind of like a spoon bread with corn, diced green chiles, red & gren peppers in a corn-y type custard. I have been wanting to replicate this meal, as it is WAY too heavy for lunch.

              If I were to try doing this, I would mix creamed corn and whole kernel corn into a custard of eggs beaten with milk and a little flour, perhaps separate whites and beat them somewhat stiff. Add the chiles, dash of Tabasco and peppers and maybe a little grated sharp cheddar for the top.

              If you decide to go for this, please report back, as I am thinking of doing this for a family BBQ over Memorial Day. Thanks!

              10 Replies
              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                Oh I see. You want us to refine this recipe for you. Try it a few times, perfect it and get back to you.

                Is that the idea? Do you want us to show up and cook it for you, too?

                Just kidding. No name calling. I know all about my mother and that incident with the sailor was just a misunderstanding that was blown way out of proportion by the press!

                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  you mean this?:
                  Corn Pudding
                  2 cans corn (drain juice from one) - 15 oz.
                  2 cans creamed corn - 15 oz.
                  2 sticks melted butter
                  2 cups sour cream
                  2 boxes jiffy corn muffin mix
                  mix all and pour into greased pan. bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, 40 minutes.

                  cook it a little more, more corn-breadish, a little less, more pudding-ish - i prefer the latter.

                  people DIE over this. in a good way.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    tried to post this directly under diane in bexley's post, by hitting reply on her post....i keep running into this problem ....

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      No, sorry the Paula Deen recipe is not what I mean. Have tried hers to see if it comes close. The corn muffin mix makes this heavy and dense. The casserole I have had is feather light, so I figured it must have stiffly beaten egg whites and flour rather than corn meal.

                      I am going to use my family as testers over Memorial day weekend as I will have 12-15 people and quite a few sides, in case this doesn't turn out right. Contrary to what Tonka may think, I don't really expect any other hounds to figure it out for me. Here is what I am thinking, weigh in with your thoughts:

                      2 (16 oz) can swhole kernel corn, well drained
                      2 (16 oz) cans creamed corn
                      4 eggs, separated
                      4 T Ap flour
                      1 stick melted butter
                      1 cup sour cream
                      1/4 cup minced shallots
                      1/4 cup minced chives
                      1 tsp Tabasco sauce
                      1 small can green chiles, well drained and chopped

                      Preheat oven to 350, grease 9X13 casserole dish. Beat yolks, butter, sour cream well, add flour, mix well. Stiffly beat egg whites and gently fold into egg/flour mixture. Add remaining ingredients, fold gently, pour into dish, bake 45 min till set. Optional - scatter some shredded cheese over top 10 min before cooking time is up.

                      What do you think?

                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        I think it will be great; it has all the right elements of corn pudding or corn souffle, with richness from the sour cream and butter, and the chiles are a classic touch.

                        I wonder if you should "stiffly" beat the egg whites; I was listening to a episode of Baking with Julia recently, episode Alice Medrich-Genoise, and Alice recommended that they not be too stiff, in order to fold in well. She started the folding with a small amount of batter added to a small amount of whipped egg white, to lighten the batter, then finished folding. But that's genoise and you have some heavier ingredients in your souffle.

                        My recipe calls for the same amount of flour, eggs and corn but you're got some extra ingredients, and I'm wondering if you might need a bit more flour or another egg white.

                        Just my thoughts. Let us know how it works out.

                        1. re: Diane in Bexley

                          Didn't get my recipe from Paula Dean,but from a friend, and mine always came out very light and souffle-y. so maybe the amounts are different than hers. i am not a fan of corn bread myself, so as I say I cook it a little less to make it more of a pudding. yours does sound great too!

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Same recipe as Paula ( a Nov 2004 show), but she adds grated cheese near the end of baking. I do the same thing as you do, cook a little less for more pudding-like.

                          2. re: Diane in Bexley

                            DIANE IN BEXLEY--Did you ever make this, according to the above? How did it turn out?

                            I love corn puddings, curious how the addition of eggs and a little four turned out. Thx.

                            1. re: mtomto

                              As mentioned in my post, on target for Memorial Day weekend (May 30). Have not yet tried this, will use my extended family as guinea pigs. I experiment a lot with them, some things turn out, some not so much. Will have plenty of other food. Will post with results afterward/

                        2. re: mariacarmen

                          I saw this on Paula Deen (except recipe was halved and cooking time as well) several years ago and everyone does love it!

                      2. Pierogies are good with brisket. Your sauce sounds delish!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Rheta

                          If I'm not smoking the brisket I do a braise in the oven. When braising I cut up lots of potatoes into large pieces and start them in the pot (the ancient blue enamel roaster I inherited from my grandmother) at the same time as the brisket. By the time the brisket is soft, the potatoes have taken on a nice brown color (not too dark). If not, I remove the brisket and let the potatoes and braising liquid go for another 15 to 30 minutes in the oven with the cover off or partially removed. This also helps reduce the braising liquid a bit. The potatoes are really flavorful and we usually don't have many left at the end of the meal.

                        2. I would be grievously disappointed if I were expected to eat brisket without accompanying mashed potatoes as the starch component, though I'm very flexible about the rest of the vegetable side choices. It surprised me how often hounds suggest sauced or strongly-flavored vegetables to go with an entree that has a stellar sauce/gravy, as does brisket. To my mind, the brisket's place is in the spotlight, and I prefer plainer preparations for the sides.

                          1. I immediately thought au gratin potatoes - I know it's not standard, but a plate of braised brisket and some au gratin potatoes sounds mighty fine right now - even at 6:20 in the morning. Mmmm....

                            1. Lots of good potato salad, with egg in it.

                              Baked beans, or, for a change, field peas (black-eyed peas) and snaps.

                              1. Your brisket recipe sounds EXACTLY like mine, and my hands-down favorite side dish to serve with it is kasha varnishkes (kasha with with bow ties). The brisket gravy is delicious on it. A very close second is mashed potatoes.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Do you mind posting the kasha recipe, since I usually do latkes? I make brisket a lot (especially in the winter) and don't want to slog through a ton of recipes when you know what you are doing:)

                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                    I'm happy to give you the recipe. I find that the step with the egg makes for a fluffier kasha that doesn't clump up.

                                    KASHA VARNISHKES
                                    (Kasha with Bow Ties)

                                    2 cups chicken broth*
                                    1 cup kasha (I prefer Wolff’s Whole Granulation kasha)
                                    1 egg, slightly beaten
                                    1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional)
                                    ½ cup chopped sautéed onions (optional)

                                    1 package (12 ounces) bow tie pasta

                                    1. Heat the chicken broth until it’s just simmering. Add butter or margarine, if using.
                                    2. In a small bowl, combine the kasha with the beaten egg.
                                    3. Put the kasha-egg mixture into a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, break up “clumps” of kasha until the grains are dry and separate.
                                    4. Add broth to the pan with the kasha. Stir to combine. Cover pan. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer approximately 10 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff kasha with a fork.
                                    5. Cook bow tie pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl, combine the kasha with the bow ties and sautéed onions.

                                    *You can make a vegetarian version of this recipe by using vegetable broth or water in place of the chicken broth. If you use water, taste and add salt, if necessary.

                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                      Thanks...looking forward to trying this weekend, even w/o brisket!

                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                        Enjoy! It also makes a great side dish for roasted chicken and lots of other things.

                                2. Lucky visitor ! If I may suggest...choose Guiness as your beer for braising, or at least a nice traditional porter like Yeungling. I usually mix a couple of tablespoons of the stout with some good grainy mustard as a condiment for the brisket. Have not seen roasted brussell sprouts on the list of sides, but that's always a hit at my house. Have fun !

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: lisanoon

                                    Mmmm, brussel sprouts are a good suggestion too. I like them roasted and tossed in a maple vinaigrette - yum.

                                    1. re: lisanoon

                                      I would agree that a good quality beer or ale is important, and a porter is particularly good; a "light" beer just won't stand up to this recipe.

                                    2. What about a BBQ potato. Wash and cube 1" cuts of small red potato (skin on), toss lightly with some BBQ spice (your favorite rub should work), a little olive oil and add an onion that has been sliced in wedges. Place in a disposable tin on the grill and cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 45 to 60 minutes, tossing occasionally. This is my favorite side on the grill for summer meats.

                                      1. when I think of brisket, I think of good crusty bread and a macaroni and cheese. Also a big green salad.

                                        1. Another variation to the "corn pudding" type dish would be cheese grits with some diced green chilis added (I like jalapenos).