I was in the mood for a good brisket, but have yet to master the barbecue grill/smoker process, so the slow cooker was my friend.
Brisket is a cut of beef that needs to be cooked slowly to break down the connective tissues. The unique thing about this cut of beef is that it can be slow cooked so it’s fork tender, yet still sliceable. It also has a better beefy flavour compared to other slow cooking beef cuts like chuck. You will see it sold in stores already prepared in the form of corned beef, pastrami and silverside which is brisket that’s been brined.
3 – 4 lb beef brisket
1 tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil like vegetable, canola)
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
2 tsp EACH black pepper, onion powder, mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste re: spiciness)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix Rub ingredients. Rub all over brisket. If time permits, leave for 30 minutes – 24 hours in the fridge.
Combine BBQ Sauce ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix then add the brisket – squish it in if needed.
Slow cook in slow cooker for 8 hours (3 lb) to 10 hours (4 lb).
Remove brisket onto a tray.
Pour liquid in slow cooker into a saucepan.
Bring to simmer over medium high heat and reduce until it thickens to a syrup consistency (it thickens more as it cools).
Meanwhile, drizzle brisket with oil then roast in a 390 degree oven for 15 minutes until brown spots appear.
Remove then baste generously with Sauce, then return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and baste again, then return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes until it caramelizes.
To serve, slice brisket thinly across the grain and serve with remaining BBQ Sauce. This is terrific served as a meal with sides or piled high onto rolls with Coleslaw as sliders.
I’m not usually a fan of most Pinot Noirs, but the 2016 Cardwell Hill Pinot Noir (Willamette) went exceptionally well with the brisket.
It’s not too tannic, and more fruit forward than I expected it to be, which was perfect.
Lessons on using a little charcoal and wood smoker for the brisket are very welcome.