Friday, July 31, 2009

Tackling Brisket

Having been inspired by several bloggers, most recently Bob of the amazing bacon-wrapped brisket, to give making beef brisket a go, I finally got around to it yesterday. I went to the local overpriced grocery store and asked the butcher if I could have a hunk of brisket. After debating how much I wanted, I decided on 3lbs or so - just enough for one person to do a bit of an experiment. For $9.54 I got a whack of brisket and I was on my way.

So, remember the POM freebies (or almost freebies) I got? Well, this was the big experiment. I wanted to combine the brisket with the POM. Dave of My Year on the Grill posted a great BBQ sauce made from pomegranate juice that looked really good, but I couldn't find one of the key ingredients. So, I decided on a marinade instead.

Now, I was a little intimidated by the brisket. Bob advised "low & slow" but didn't specify how low or how slow. Dave had a lot of advice for me, however, and also provided me with a great link to a page with lots of great info on BBQing brisket.

I realized I might have an issue. I have access to a BBQ, obviously, but it isn't very fancy or big and it doesn't have very fine temperature controls. It doesn't even have a thermometer. I needed a temperature of about 225F and I really had to guess at it.

But before I get ahead of myself, here is the marinade recipe I whipped up. This was purely something I made on spec, and it took a lot of tweaking before I got a flavour I was happy with.

POM Pomegranate Juice Marinade

1 cup pomegranate juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp soy sauce

Combine ingredients in a large freezer bag. Mush around. Add brisket. Put in fridge for a few hours.

OK, onto the BBQing process. Low & slow, right? So, I started the BBQ and put only one half of the element on, and set it as low as I could get it. I put the brisket on some foil on the other, non-lit side of the BBQ, and let her rip. Well, no, not "rip." Keeping "low & slow" in mind, and bearing in mind the advice dispensed by both Dave and the site he mentioned, I was looking at about 1 hour 15 mins./pound of brisket. I was worried about getting a tough, chewy, inedible piece of leather-like meat. I put the brisket on at about 5pm, and at about 6pm, I basted it with the marinade a bit. This is what it looked like at that point:Hm...Looked to me like it was cooking a tad too fast for my liking. So, I got out my fancy-wancy thermometer with probe and stuck it the thickest part. It was 158F. I was going for 180F. I set my thermometer to beep when the temperature reached t 180, put the lid back down, and waited.The beeping stared at about 6:45, so the brisket took about 1 hour 45 minutes to BBQ. After removing it from the BBQ, I let it rest about 20 minutes, while I made a sauce from the leftover marinade, before slicing it thinly. Here is the end result!I would have preferred it slightly rarer, but whatever. And it was so juicy...It could have been more tender, but it was by no means the chewy nightmare I was worried about. The meat was really nicely flavoured, lean, and just plain delicious! The marinade, which I turned into a reduction, was really amazing, too. My dad came over to help me eat it, and he was really impressed. I served the brisket with a green salad and some of my homemade hamburger buns. I even made a POM vinagrette, but that's a post for another time!So, now I have enough leftover brisket and sauce to keep me in beef dips for many days - woo-hoo!

Thanks to Bob and Dave for all the help!


Cathy said...

I've never seen brisket at the store here either......I'll have to ask the butcher to cut me one. It's one of those things to bbq on a lazy weekend!

A Year on the Grill said...

That is beautiful...congrats on the achievement. You are right about the overpriced store, I pay about $18 for a full brisket (10 pounds). There is a little trimming to do that your butcher did for you, but I am very cheap.

The juices look perfect, you mastered the limitations of your grill perfect, and made it work for you...excellent!

Course, if you had the 10 pounder, you would be looking forward to
Beef Tips
Brisket Chili
Brisket Fajitas
Brisket Gumbo
Stuffed Peppers
Brisket Tacos
Grilled Brisket Pizzas
Cornbread Hillbilly muffins

The week after smoking a brisket has eats better than the day of.

Well done


Coleen's Recipes said...

Your brisket looks heavenly.

Denise said...

I find brisket alot at the local supermarket. It is a great cut of meat that you can do alot with. Your idea is fantastic.

Palidor said...

Great job! There are worse things in life than having tons of brisket. I wish my local supermarket sold brisket, overpriced or not!

Elra said...

I never made BBQ brisket. I must admit that I am tempted now. Brisket is my husband favorite meat, I guess it remind him of his childhood. his mother would serve brisket for Shabbat.

Bob said...

Way to go! That looks wicked good, I really like the sound of the marinade.

Unfortunately brisket isn't one of those cuts that lends itself to rare. If you don't cook it a long time it's very tough.

Man, now I wish I had another one...

Donna-FFW said...

I love cooking brisket, have never grilled it. Great method, love your marinade flavors.

Reeni♥ said...

This turned out so good! The marinade sounds so yummy with the POM in it. Enjoy those leftovers!

girlichef said...

Sounds awesome! I love the flavors you used in the marinade. I got around the whole BBQ thing by doing it in the oven with a little liquid smoke (I'm a cheater)! mmmm...leftover sammies.

Pierce said..., I love brisket. There is a ocal BBQ place where I get it each time we eat there.

I love your new look here too. Great looking cookies.

mister anchovy said...

I do brisket a couple times each summer. Those who advised you to do it low and slow are right on. I do brisket for 8-10 hours at 180-200F with indirect heat and a lot of smoke, right on the grill. You can accelerate the process a bit by putting it in a foil pan after about 3 hours with half an inch of beer or apple juice in the pan. Cover with tin foil and continue cooking, same temp for an hour or so...then it's back on the grill. Purists will call this cheating, but sometimes you just don't have 8-10 hours. When I'm making brisket it sometimes seems crazy to keep it in for so long, but I promise it stays juicy and it gets more and more tender. Usually, when it's just about ready, I baste it with a bbq sauce, or sometimes I drizzle some bbq sauce on the plate before serving the brisket slices.

Helene said...

I don't eat beef myself but I know that my family would enjoy this. I think it was a good price that you paid.


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