On May 28, pay homage to a humble hunk of meat, favored by pit masters and grandmothers alike, as you celebrate Brisket Day. Start preparing your brisket after you clear the breakfast table.
No matter which presentation you choose to unveil at dinner, to produce the fork-tender meat your hungry celebrants will crave, cooking this tough cut of beef will be a lengthy process.
Brisket is a frequent offering on menus at barbecue restaurants, listed among the spare ribs and pulled pork choices. It is typically seasoned with a rub of various spices, then slow cooked on indirect heat in a grill or smoker.
Adding mesquite, hickory or other aromatic woods for the smoking process often infuses additional flavor. Brisket can also be marinated beforehand, adding sauces or mops while it cooks.
Think of barbecue brisket as flavor on steroids. Layers of spice rub, smoke and sauce play so well together, you had better plan for multiple servings per person. Accompaniments include the usual side-dish suspects – coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob and macaroni & cheese.
If you would prefer a more elegant dinner, take a page from grandmother’s personal cookbook to conjure a braised variation. Brown the brisket on all sides to seal in its juices.
Once browned, add garlic and herbs, a little water, cover, reduce heat and let simmer a few hours. Serve as you would any roast, accompanied with a jus, and vegetables.
Low and slow is the way to go when cooking brisket. You’ll be rewarded with a moist, tender presentation of beef bursting with flavor. Forks and appetites are required for your Brisket Day meal but knives are optional. Dig in!