Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brian's Brisket - By Popular Demand

After I posted the menu for my birthday celebration, many of you asked for the recipe to the brisket. Brian always does an excellent job with brisket, and it was truly remarkable that day. Seeing the pictures now make my mouth water, so I apologize for being so unfair as to show you the succulent brisket, but not to give you a way to enjoy it yourself. Even my dad is still lamenting the fact he and Lynn had to leave before the brisket was ready to serve. So here is the recipe and the directions in Brian’s own words.

Brian's Brisket
1 full Brisket 6-9 lbs, for best results brisket should not be trimmed
2 parts paprika
2 parts black pepper
1 part garlic salt
1 part table salt
For a large brisket you’ll need about ¾ cup altogether.
2 beers

Note from Sandy: To clarify the dry rub, for this 9 lb brisket, I started with 2 TB pepper, 2TB paprika, 1 TB salt, and 1 TB garlic salt. That only covered one side so I made the same quantity again. It’s easy to make more as you need it.

Clean and pat dry brisket and place on cookie sheet. Mix together dry rub. Coat top bottom and sides of brisket generously. Any seasoned salt mix will do, but we like the mixture listed above. It can be a bit spicy depending on the grade of paprika. Place meat on grill fat side up and cook slowly. A total of 6-8 hours is desirable on a grill and you can probably cook longer and slower in a smoker.

The main trick to a great brisket is how its cooked. The slower the better. I’m sure a smoker would work great if you have one large enough. I have not tried using a gas grill as we really enjoy the charcoal flavor. I’ve had good luck using an ordinary Weber kettle grill with indirect heat. I use a drip pan and fill it with a can of beer and place it to collect drippings. Ordinarily, I take the meat directly out of the fridge, season the meat and cook it at medium heat for about 2 hours. This is enough to sear the outside of the meat and get juices flowing. Then I collect the juices and beer out of the drip pan and use this to baste the meat as it continues cooking. After collecting drippings I add more beer to the drip pan and reduce heat by controlling air vents and reducing the rate at which I occasionally add coals. Adding water soaked wood chips can also reduce heat and add flavor. As the meat cooks it first becomes rubbery – it jiggles when you shake – but eventually loosens up into a tender and flavorful slab. You can continue cooking as long as you keep it moist and it doesn’t burn.

Take the meat off the grill and let it rest for 10-20 minutes before serving. Slice thin across the grain. It shouldn’t need any sauce but feel free if you like. I’ve never tried making a sauce out of the pan drippings – which are very spicy, smoky, and flavorful. I’m sure one could come up with an excellent dipping sauce from the drippings, probably without any additional cooking at all.

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