Sunday, April 3, 2011

Slow Cooker Brisket Sandwiches

Until last week, I had never made (or purchased) beef brisket. As someone who has lived in Texas for three years, this is shocking. Brisket is all over TX, it IS Texas. BBQ is brisket, not pulled pork. Don't even get me started on BBQ. But, I decided to try a brisket recipe. I honestly believe that brisket is meant to be cooked on a grill, but since ours is out of commission due to fire regulations (sigh)....I tried this recipe I came across on the Food Network website. Slow Cooker Brisket Sandwiches.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 5-to-6-pound first-cut or flat-cut brisket, cut into 3 pieces (I used a 4 lb cut, bigger wouldn't fit in my slow cooker)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer (I used Guinness)
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 brioche or other rolls, split open and toasted
  • Coleslaw, for serving (I purchased the prepackaged slaw in the produce section, added a small amount of mayo, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar)
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last 2 minutes.

For the garlic, I smashed the cloves with the flat side of a knife.

Transfer the meat and garlic to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Pour the beer into the skillet and simmer 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the pan; add the beer mixture to the slow cooker.

Nestle the celery around the meat and add the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika. Stir, then cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. I cooked on high for 6 hours, but I would recommend the low setting. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice.

Use the drippings from the pan....

The finished product, with sweet potato fries:

This is a tasty brisket. BUT, for me, it was lacking something. Not sure what, but the meat was not melt-in-your-mouth tender. I will continue my search for the perfect brisket. But if you are looking for an easy, throw in the slow cooker recipe, it will suit the purpose. The leftovers would also be good in tacos or quesadillas, or in chili.

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