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Brisket Questions

r
rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 07:33 AM

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. foodyDudey RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 08:01 AM

    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. f
      farmgirl1836 RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 08:07 AM

      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
        r
        rationallawyer RE: farmgirl1836 Feb 7, 2014 08:13 AM

        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
          c
          CarNut RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 01:27 PM

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

          1. re: CarNut
            r
            rationallawyer RE: CarNut Feb 7, 2014 01:35 PM

            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
              c
              CarNut RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 01:39 PM

              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
            Spanglo RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 07:27 PM

            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. grandgourmand RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 08:33 AM

          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. f
            filtered RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 09:50 AM

            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
              foodyDudey RE: filtered Feb 7, 2014 10:00 AM

              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

              http://www.cheeseboutique.com/

              1. re: foodyDudey
                foodyDudey RE: foodyDudey Feb 7, 2014 10:04 AM

                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
                  r
                  rationallawyer RE: foodyDudey Feb 7, 2014 12:02 PM

                  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
                    1sweetpea RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 12:56 PM

                    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
                      foodyDudey RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 01:02 PM

                      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
                        foodyDudey RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 02:58 PM

                        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
                    Spanglo RE: filtered Feb 7, 2014 07:10 PM

                    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. g
                    gttahaveit RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 02:58 PM

                    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
                      foodyDudey RE: gttahaveit Feb 7, 2014 03:00 PM

                      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
                        g
                        gttahaveit RE: foodyDudey Feb 7, 2014 03:45 PM

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

                    2. TorontoTuna RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 04:21 PM

                      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. b
                        bobinken RE: rationallawyer Feb 7, 2014 10:31 PM

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

                        1. r
                          rationallawyer RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 07:04 AM

                          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
                            f
                            farmgirl1836 RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 08:41 AM

                            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
                              r
                              rationallawyer RE: farmgirl1836 Feb 10, 2014 08:44 AM

                              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
                                1sweetpea RE: farmgirl1836 Feb 10, 2014 08:55 AM

                                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
                                f
                                filtered RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 08:55 AM

                                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
                                  r
                                  rationallawyer RE: filtered Feb 10, 2014 12:19 PM

                                  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: rationallawyer
                                    f
                                    filtered RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 12:35 PM

                                    sounds aweseome..

                                    1. re: filtered
                                      r
                                      rationallawyer RE: filtered Feb 21, 2014 11:41 AM

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

                                2. re: rationallawyer
                                  petek RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 10:11 AM

                                  <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
                                    i
                                    iamafoodie RE: rationallawyer Feb 11, 2014 09:54 AM

                                    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
                                      r
                                      rationallawyer RE: iamafoodie Feb 11, 2014 10:43 AM

                                      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
                                        1sweetpea RE: rationallawyer Feb 11, 2014 11:58 AM

                                        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. peasepudding RE: rationallawyer Feb 10, 2014 07:50 AM

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

                                    1. p
                                      PrincessStress RE: rationallawyer Feb 21, 2014 10:28 AM

                                      This is the recipe I played around with and used and it turned out well.
                                      http://mewannabefoodie.blogspot.ca/20...

                                      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.

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