As one of the nine primal cuts of beef, brisket comes from the breast or lower chest of the cow. These deep pectoral muscles carry the bulk of the animal’s weight, resulting in a cut that is loaded with connective tissues, packed with flavor.
Trust the Process
To get the most out of this historically lower-priced cut of meat, prepare with a dry rub of spices and sugar the night before, ensuring a crust that develops flavor and allows the fats to tenderize as it cooks. Then plan for a cooking process that breaks down the collagen and connective tissues, leaving the meat tender and juicy, packed with flavor and so tender it falls apart.
Rest assured, the end result will be a deeply satisfying protein that can be used in a multitude of dishes that scream autumn and are perfect for crisp days filled with football-watching guests throwing back mimosas and icy beers.
Better in Texas
To many diners, beef brisket means one thing: Texas BBQ, specifically oriented towards Lone Star cities like Austin and San Antonio. This sure seller, popular all over the country, is known primarily for its ketchup-based sauce sparingly served over the luscious, fatty, flavorful meat. To keep it real, serve with Tex-Mex flare: pinto beans, mac and cheese, slaw and pickles. If you want to venture into some Houston territory, known for its traditional brisket with a side of New Orleans shimmy, add some Cajun-style boudin sausages.
But the versatility of grilled brisket can be applied to other dishes, beyond the expected, as well. Serve on fluffy brioche-style buns dressed with pickled vegetables to cut through the richness of the meat for a fantastic lunch item. Now that hot soups are back on the menu, add sliced brisket to ramen noodles and shredded brisket to pumpkin bisques or wild mushroom stews as an up-sell for their vegetarian bases.
Want to get fancy with the bounty of the autumn harvest dinner special? The possibilities are endless. Pair brisket with mashed turnips or parsnips, grilled apples, and a seasonal bourbon-spiked apple cider or cranberry sauce.
Finally—and if even more prep time allows—don’t forget the burnt-ends. These cubes of meat candy, cut from the point straight off the grill and then braised grill-top in an aluminum pan with BBQ sauce, a little brown sugar and a splash of beef stock, decadently rocket standard mac ‘n cheese into the atmosphere.