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Brisket Questions

I'm looking to make an asian-style braised beef dish this weekend. I'd like to get dinner for two out of it Sun and Mon, plus through the first part of the week. I'm a healthy eater, my wife is more reasonable. How much meat do I need? 3lbs or so? Also, how much does brisket cost these days?

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  1. Looks like you are hoping for dinner for 4 days * 2 people?

    It all depends on how much you eat, but assuming 8 oz for you and 4 to 6 for your wife, I'd guess 1 lb /meal before cooking. Brisket prices probably vary but I bought it last week at Cheese Boutique for $14 /kg
    Some Asian place is probably much cheaper.

    1. I buy my briskets at Nortown in the Promenade Mall. But there are other locations, at Bathurst & Eglinton and York Mills and Bayview. I usually buy a double brisket, with a layer of fat in the middle, because the flavour is so much better. Of course, you can cut away the fat after cooking it. I think I recently paid $7.00 a pound for the double brisket. I would enjoy your posting a recipe for an Asian inspired brisket. I normally put the brisket in a roasting pan, fat side up and pour on a whole bottle of very sweet wine, a can of coke, I sprinkle on Lipton's onion soup mix, some granulated garlic and some Heinz chili sauce, pop the lid on and let it do it's thing. The liquid becomes the gravy. I freeze the sliced brisket in zip lock bags and I freeze the gravy in little containers separately. Actually, we are having it for dinner tonight. Please let me have your recipe!

      5 Replies
      1. re: farmgirl1836

        I'm not at an official recipe yet; I'm thinking of something inspired by Pho/Banh Mi sandwiches. Thought I'd add a stick of lemongrass, 1-2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 c brown sugar (or less; I know many people like their brisket sweet, but i'm more savory). , 3-4 cloves, some dried chili, 1 large onion, 2 shallots, a few cloves of garlic and ginger, a big carrot or two, tomato...

        Season brisket liberally w salt and pepper, sear the living heck out of it, then braise w aromatics...I'm looking for it to be subtly flavourful. Not sure if I'll get proportions right but I'll let you know :)

        Why is onion soup mix so good?

        1. re: rationallawyer

          Recipe sounds interesting but I've never heard of anyone searing a brisket.

          1. re: CarNut

            Really? I sear pretty much anything I'm going to braise. I know it doesn't actually seal in juices, but I find it just gives deeper flavour and better texture.

            1. re: rationallawyer

              I stand corrected, though there is some discussion on the necessity of searing given the long braising time -http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842623

          2. re: rationallawyer

            Rationallawyer,I think that the most important part of making Pho would be the broth,so I would suggest getting yourself some beef marrow bones,the type of beef you use should not really matter that much.After the broth is made I have used raw eye of round sliced very thinly,and put it in my soup when serving.
            When making soups the most flavor are in the bones.

            For the banh mi,get some chuck,or top round thinly slice,add lemongrass,brown sugar,oyster sauce,and chilly,marinate,and then panfry.

        2. if you go to T&T, you'll get brisket for $4.99-$5.99 a lb.

          if you don't like that idea, try a local butcher. a good one should be able to provide for a similar price. i know maselli's on danforth does for like $4.99. shop around, because it can get pricey because brisket is pretty trendy these days.

          costco has some nice ones too...around $5.99-$6.99/lb is what i paid once. they're usually trimmed pretty well, though, so look for something with fat.

          3lbs sounds like a lot, but brisket will shrink a fair bit. either way, you'll have some good leftovers, which isn't a bad thing. you can used it in chinese-style soups with a nice broth (flavoured with ginger, soy, garlic, star anise) and bok choi and noodles. actually, reading your recipe, would be a good base for the soup. throw in a few beef bones to bulk up the broth with extra liquid if you want the soup option.

          1. i get my briskets at european meats. i get the entire cryovac which is a whole lotta pounds and $35-50 or something like that, but it's the whole brisket, rather than just the point or flat. it's a whole lot more than i need for a single dish, but i just carve and freeze the unneeded portion.

            i'm interested in finding out where else you can get good whole brisket for cheaper as it's kinda outta the way for me.

            i know costco has it for $ 15.69 / kg ($ 7.12 / lb) and is about 1.3 kg (3 lbs), but i'm not certain of which part of the brisket they give.

            7 Replies
            1. re: filtered

              Looks like Cheese Boutique is cheaper at $14 /kg. ($6.36 /lb )

              Unless you know what the moisture content of the meat is, price alone means very little. The meat at CB will be dryer than most others. And they have a lot more than cheese!

              Cheese Boutique
              45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S 3P2
              (416) 762-6292


              1. re: foodyDudey

                I forgot to add this slightly blurry pic I took last weekend. Do you want meat that comes cryovac'd or some nice dry aged stuff?

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  Thanks! I prefer dry if I can get it, although since this is my first foray into brisketland, I'm more conscious of price (if it fails I'd rather not throw $50 into the bin).

                  1. re: rationallawyer

                    The last double brisket I bought was from Nortown. I spoke to the person helping me about choosing a brisket with more fat and he brought a few from the back that were still intact in the cryovac. Exterior fat cap was trimmed, but much less so than the briskets they have in the display. A lot of people are afraid of a lot of fat, so they demand lean briskets, but if you want something juicy and bursting with flavour, keep the fat on, at least until the brisket has cooked, then cooled. It's easy to pull it away or trim off the fat when it's cold and solid. I personally leave some, to ensure that the brisket stays soft and juicy when reheated later.

                    1. re: rationallawyer

                      2 kgs at CB will set you back $28, and it's dry. I have mine cooking slowly right now as I made corned beef with it. The whole house has a nice corned beef aroma.... And most of the other places mentioned aren't much less than the CB price of $6.36 /lb

                      1. re: rationallawyer

                        Here is a pic of the corned beef I made, after I ate some. This piece was cut from a bigger piece which included the point. This was a success, I'm going to buy 3 kg for my next batch.

                  2. re: filtered

                    I'm with you on this one filtered,I also buy my briskets at European meats because they give you the whole brisket intact,at 3$ and a bit.I wish they still had their location at Kensington Market.

                    Costco has it but they are all trimmed,and it looks like they only sell the you the the flat lean part of the brisket.

                  3. I buy mine (whole, cryovac packed, approx 12 lbs) at the Butcher Shoppe. Because of the long cooking time and the heavy seasoning, I don't believe that dry aging makes any positive difference in the outcome. I think I pay somewhere in the 4-5 $/lb range and have been extremely satisfied!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gttahaveit

                      I was mentioning the dry aging as 1kg of dry-aged brisket will actually be more solid matter than 1 kg of wet-aged beef, and I'd expect it to have a different flavour.

                      1. re: foodyDudey

                        Would be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison!

                    2. Well...you want the real deal, start by getting your hands on a 12 pound 'packer brisket' fat and all. The good butchers in town will get this for you. Forget all this dry age junk and marinate this bad boy for a few days then go with the twelve beer, 18 hour babysit. All that extra beef makes for some great chili.

                      1. Brisket....$3.99 pound at Sunny's on Don Mills Road, a few blocks south of Eglinton.

                        1. Ok, so I made the brisket last night. Turned out pretty good. Braised for 4 hours (tested it at 3, but it seemed pretty tough). Flavour is great, but when I went to slice it, it fell apart. So, no sandwiches to take to lunch, but I will use it for dinner :) Thanks for all the help.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: rationallawyer

                            How much did the brisket weigh? Because 4 hours is not really too long. I am wondering if you sliced it the wrong way. Honestly though, I never slice mine while it's hot. I separate the brisket from the gravy and slice it with an electric knife the next day. The butcher puts marks on the top of the brisket to assist with the way it's supposed to be cut (I think against the grain). Anyway, I'm the one that uses the Lipton's onion soup mix and it's just for flavour for the gravy.

                            1. re: farmgirl1836

                              Sliced acainst the grain, per butcher's marks. I did try to slice it while hot with a (sharp) chef's knife, so that could explain it.

                              1. re: farmgirl1836

                                My mom always sought out Goodman's Onion Soup mix, claiming better flavor. If you get a chance, try it and compare results with your Lipton's version.

                              2. re: rationallawyer

                                could you clarify what you mean by asian style? i mean, that's a very large continent, as opposed to like european style braised brisket..

                                1. re: filtered

                                  In this case i was trying for what I'd consider more Vietnamese flavours (it evolved as I was cooking it). I wound up using cinnamon, star anise, cloves, lemongrass, chili, a bit of brown sugar, soy and bay leaves, in addition to the usual garlic, shallot, onion, celery and carrots.

                                    1. re: filtered

                                      Next time I'm going to try doing chicago-style italian beef. Meat is fun.

                                2. re: rationallawyer

                                  <Flavour is great, but when I went to slice it, it fell apart.>

                                  Always let you meat rest for at least 15-20 min before slicing,and if you're slicing brisket for sandwiches I would recommend longer(overnight).

                                  1. re: rationallawyer

                                    Strange that your brisket fell apart. It's a very large and solid hunk of meat. It may have been overcooked.

                                    Did you check the internal temperature?

                                    I cook mine to 190F internal and it slices beautifully even though it's quite tender at that point.

                                    1. re: iamafoodie

                                      I don't think it was overcooked. It was marvellously tender, in fact. II think I just went to slice it too early.

                                      1. re: rationallawyer

                                        I've found that when I cook the full brisket (lean and fat portions), the lean part slices nicely, if allowed to cool and firm up. The fattier portion pretty much falls apart. I separate the two and use them for different purposes (sliced lean meat hot with juices/gravy or cold in a sandwich, fattier meat treated similarly to pulled pork or ropa vieja, on rice, in a sandwich or as a taco filling.

                                  2. Fortino's. $5 lb, $4 on special [once a month or so]. They'll trim it or leave the fat, as requested.

                                    1. This is the recipe I played around with and used and it turned out well.

                                      Buying brisket from Chinese supermarkets is definitely cheaper. I bought mine from Foodymart when it was on sale for less then $3/lb. I also bought a piece of grained, antibiotic/hormone free beef from one of the meat vendors at the Steamwhistle Winter Farmer's Market, and it was either $5 or $6/lb.