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!