Scott’s 8-hour BBQ Brisket
Believe it or not, even a foodie like me gets a little tired of cooking sometimes! The same fun and passion that can go into spending a big chunk of the day grocery shopping, prepping and cooking dinner, can sometimes turn to impatience and exhaustion. But alas! Little did you know (or maybe you did), Scott loves to cook as well. I tend to take over a bit in the kitchen but the truth of the matter is that first of all, it’s technically his kitchen-I just pay rent! Secondly, he’s been asking if I’d let him cook for once haha. So I gave my love permission (more like the command) to make me dinner this weekend, and as expected it was heavily carnivorous! What came soon after was an entire Sunday spent being teased and taunted by the yumazing smells coming from the kitchen, while knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat any of it for hours! So I present to you, two recipes from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen: Lean and Mean Texas Barbecued Brisket and Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans. Behold the smoky, meaty, mouthwatering glory- and make sure you leave yourself a good 6-9 hours before dinnertime! I’d also like to mention that our backyard was snow-covered, so major props to Scott for clearing it out and braving the cold for this hot-weather southern feast!
For the brisket and rub
- 1 trimmed brisket (5-6 pounds) with a layer of fat at least 1/4 inch thick
- 2 TBSP chili powder
- 1 TBSP coarse salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
For the vinegar-beer mop sauce
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup beer
- 1 TBSP garlic salt
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
1. Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. If you have the time, you can let the brisket stand in the refrigerator, covered, for several hours. But it’s not necessary.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the mop sauce in a nonreactive bowl and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
3. Soak several cups of wood chips in water. We used about 8 cups.
4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling (charcoal on the sides and meat in the middle) and keep the heat low- around 225°F.
5. When ready to cook, toss a handful wood chips on the coals. Place the brisket, fat-side up, in an aluminum foil pan and place in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat and cover the grill. Grill the brisket until tender, about 6 hours (the cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket and the heat of the grill). Baste or mop the brisket with the mop sauce once an hour. You’ll need to add fresh coals and wood chips per side every hour. Keeping the grill temperature around 225°F. There is a period where the rising temp of brisket will stall, somewhere between 140-160°F. Resist any urge to increase the heat or the brisket will not be as tender. Once it gets out of this range it’s temperature will rise much faster. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 190°F.
6. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an very sharp carving knife. Transfer the sliced meat to plates or a platter and pour the pan juices on top. You can also serve with barbecue sauce as we did, although traditional Texas barbecue usually doesn’t. You could also make a simple sauce by reducing the pan juices with some ketchup in a saucepan.
Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans (serves 10-12)
- 6 ounces bacon, cute crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cans (15.5 oz each) cooked navy or great northern beans
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- 3 TBSP molasses
- 3 TBSP maple syrup
- 3 TBSP barbecue sauce or ketchup
- 1 1/2 TBSP dry mustard
- 1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 TBSP cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- coarse salt and black pepper
- 2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
1. Place the bacon and onion in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and cook until the bacon fat renders and the onion in golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour off any excess fat.
2. Stir in the beans, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, barbecue sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and liquid smoke. Gently simmer the beans until thick and richly flavored, 10 minutes, adding 2 or 3 tablespoons water if necessary to keep the beans from burning. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. Stir in the jalapenos during the last 5 minutes of cooking if desired.
We served our southern grub with some cornbread and red cabbage and collard greens slaw. Delish! I can’t wait to use all the leftover meat for other meals: today’s lunch is brisket and swiss melts!