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Braised Brisket -- Cook-Off 43

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#61 Dave the Cook

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

I picked up a five-pound flat at Costco the other day ($3.49/lb). I'm thinking of a six- or eight-hour cold smoke to start, followed by a braise.

Any ideas for the liquid and seasoning components? I've got a bunch of cheap beer I'd be happy to use, but I'm also thinking that the Chris A-Mia's recipe might be effective, too.

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#62 Chris Amirault

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:15 PM

Hickory? Or...?
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#63 Dave the Cook

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:20 PM

I've got lots of hickory, cherry and apple. I'm open to suggestions.

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#64 Chris Amirault

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:09 PM

I keep thinking about Richard Blais's obsession with Malta Goya. I wonder if the smoke would interact with that, some mild chiles or black pepper, and nicely caramelized mirepoix.
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#65 Dave the Cook

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

I keep thinking about Richard Blais's obsession with Malta Goya. I wonder if the smoke would interact with that, some mild chiles or black pepper, and nicely caramelized mirepoix.

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Worth a shot, I thought, and a fitting maiden braise for the latest addition to the batterie:

Posted Image

I've got my own version of the Blais glaze, so it seemed like all I needed to do was assemble the ingredients and just not reduce them. Here they are:

Posted Image

By proportion:

14 oz Malta Goya
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 strong coffee (for this, I used 1 T crushed beans)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T ground ancho (4 whole dried chiles, toasted and torn up)
1 small onion, sliced (I don't know why I added this; it's not in the glaze.)
0 cumin (also not in the recipe; what was I thinking)

The brisket went eight hours over cold hickory smoke. Then I divided it in two and stashed half in the freezer. I gave the other half a hard sear without additional fat. By searing fat-side down, I got enough fat for the onions to brown. I dumped everything else in (adding a cup or so of water to bring the liquid level up), added the meat back, and put it in a 275 oven.

At two hours, it was still pretty stiff, so I gave it another half hour, which seemed to make no difference at all. At three hours I figured it had to come out, done or not.

I can't remember the last time I turned out a piece of beef this dry and flavorless. Most of the smoke transferred to the liquid -- it was great after a slight reduction, and together, the components were palatable (barely). At least I have the reserved piece. Perhaps I can redeem myself.

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#66 weinoo

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:34 PM

I don't understand the cold smoking of brisket in the first place, so maybe that's the issue.

Did you taste the beef after it came out of the smoker?
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#67 Pam R

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:49 PM

Dave, I'd do the foil method (which I will try to photograph soon). Reduce everything until you have a cup or so of liquid, add it and the brisket to the foil package and into the oven for 3 hours or so (maybe more). The meat should release more liquid as it cooks.

#68 Dave the Cook

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:14 PM

I don't understand the cold smoking of brisket in the first place, so maybe that's the issue.

Did you taste the beef after it came out of the smoker?

View Post

I was trying to combine the flavor of smoked brisket with the lushness of a braise. I trimmed a think slice when I divided the meat. It wasn't quite as smoky as I wanted, but it was tasty, if by tasty you mean chilly, raw, smoked beef.

Dave,  I'd do the foil method (which I will try to photograph soon).  Reduce everything until you have a cup or so of liquid, add it and the brisket to the foil package and into the oven for 3 hours or so (maybe more).  The meat should release more liquid as it cooks.

View Post

Worth a try. I'm familiar with the foil method, though photos would be helpful.

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#69 barbhealy

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 01:05 PM

First of all, THANK YOU for this thread! I was struggling with a beef dish for a party we're having in February and this has solved my dilemma!

One of my favorite braised brisket recipes is the Mexican Pot Roast from John Ash’s From the Earth to the Table book.

Basically, you puree the seasonings with the liquids, scatter sliced onions in a large casserole, top with the raw beef, add more onions and the puree and then cover and bake at 350 for 4 hours. Serve it shredded on tortillas with cilantro, avocado and lime.

Easy and delicious!

I don’t know if John is a member here and can give me permission to post the recipe. If not, the book is in its second printing and available on Amazon for $16.49:

http://www.amazon.co...27382925&sr=8-1

#70 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:33 AM

I'm giving my crack at Mia's brisket recipe (from this post) a try with a smallish (20 ounce) piece of brisket that had a decent fat cap on it. I also pulled 4 oz of brisket fat trimmings from the freezer and used that. It's now well-sealed in a low (225F) oven through step five above. I'll report back tomorrow when I serve it.
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#71 Chris Amirault

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:14 PM

Posted Image

Though I had to deal with old, stiff gorditas, these turned out very well. I think I was right on the umami, and a pinch of beef bouillon coupled with a few drops of Maggi seems to have done the trick. (If they use homemade beef stock there, I'll eat my hat.) Extremely well caramelized onions and brisket trimmings also help the braising liquid a great deal. Finally, using the beef fat that you pull off the top of the liquid the next day to sauté the fresh onions and peppers will make you happy. But you knew that.
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#72 snowangel

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:23 PM

Chris, what kind of peppers did you use?
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#73 Chris Amirault

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

Jalapeños, which I'm pretty sure Mia's uses.
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#74 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:36 PM

i am gearing up to sous vide a brisket following a salt/herb rub/rest, along with some duck fat.....

hoping it's a religous experience....

#75 Sararwelch

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:40 AM

I made the braised brisket from Nancy Silverton's sandwich book a few weeks back. The brisket gets marinated in a red wine based marinade and then braised for 9 hours in a low oven.

It came out great, but I wasn't thinking when I cut it, and sliced it with the grain instead of against - does it make a difference when the meat has been cooked for so long and is tender anyways?

#76 Chris Amirault

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:02 PM

Depends on whether you want ropey meat or tender chunked slices.
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#77 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:01 PM

I'd say slicing makes a big difference for a braised brisket that isn't cooked so long that it's falling apart. A brisket that's perfectly good sliced against the grain can be tough and stringy sliced with the grain. I had an aunt who sliced with the grain to get longer slices, and they took a lot longer to chew than shorter slices against the grain.

In our family we did horseradish with brisket. Fresh grated with vinegar is best, if you like it strong. Horseradish grated with beets, or red horseradish from a jar, has a bit more complex flavor and isn't quite as rough on the nasal passages.

I posted our family recipe on my sister's "Family of Food" blog a while back. My posts are generally under "Son of Food"--

http://familyoffood....-soul-food.html

#78 Chris Amirault

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 05:30 PM

It's brisket weather and I just reread every post in the topic to get ready for tomorrow's meal. I'm wondering if anyone's got new ideas to share; I think I'm going with the standard braise I describe at the head of the topic, but I'm sure there are those more adventurous out there!
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#79 snowangel

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:22 AM

It's brisket weather and I just reread every post in the topic to get ready for tomorrow's meal. I'm wondering if anyone's got new ideas to share; I think I'm going with the standard braise I describe at the head of the topic, but I'm sure there are those more adventurous out there!


I may too late to the party for dinner tonight, but the Slow-Braised Beef and Potatoes from The Revolutionary Chinese cookbook has become a favorite in our house (and it sounds like it's a fav in Bruce's house, as well). I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work with brisket...
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#80 Chris Amirault

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:59 AM

Yep, a bit late: I went with the standard, adding a bit of bacon and tomato paste to the porcini & mirepoix basic set up. In foil at 225F right now.
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#81 snowangel

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 04:06 PM

Yep, a bit late: I went with the standard, adding a bit of bacon and tomato paste to the porcini & mirepoix basic set up. In foil at 225F right now.

Bacon makes everything better.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#82 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:02 AM

The brisket was a bit sour to my palate, though no one else noticed it. Has anyone here had that issue?
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#83 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

Braised brisket is delicious! I included details about my favorite recipe here on the "Cooking from Sunday Suppers at Lucques" thread.
I would also love to see what other people are doing with brisket (there are already some great examples on this thread!).





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