August 8, 2016
12 hrs 30 mins
This brisket recipe has quickly become a go-to when we have a large crowd to please. The satisfaction of turning a tough and cheap cut of beef into a tasty, tender thing of beauty is something worth celebrating. The actual time required to prepare it is minimal and although there is a lot of waiting, you don't really need to do much other than think about how you plan to eat it when it is ready.
As much as I would love to have my own smoker, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon. Toasting the spices first and using smoked paprika is a great substitute and the liquid smoke and bourbon give the sauce a nice earthy warmth with a little kick. Liquid smoke can be hard to find, but it is good to have some in the cupboard - if you can't find it then just leave it out - you won't be disappointed.
You can't really do this in a day - good things take time, as they say. Thankfully, brisket reheats exceptionally well
and a day in the fridge only makes it taste better anyway. I like to have it ready a day or two before I need it and then just reheat it in the oven when my guests arrive. The smell adds to the anticipation and that way I am not stuck in the kitchen for long, which is always a good thing.
The sauce can be made at any stage that is convenient - you just need to wait for the meat to rest before you can complete the final step by adding the cooking juices and reduce it to the right consistency.
You can do so many things with the finished dish, but some sliders with a nice creamy coleslaw is a sure fire way to quickly dish up some big flavour for a crowd of hungry people.
Brisket - Day 1
Lay out some plastic wrap and open the brisket up like a book. Using a sharp knife, score the inside of the meat in a criss-cross pattern about 2.5cm/1 inch apart. Rub one third of the spice mixture on the inside and then fold back up. Rub the remaining spice mixture on the outside and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place on a tray in your fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Brisket - Day 2
Unwrap the brisket and place on a rack over an oven tray. Pour the stock into the tray and cover the meat, tray and rack tightly with aluminium foil. Place in the oven and cook for 6 hours, then remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 1 hour.
Ensure you have skimmed most of the fat from the cooking juices and add along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until thickened and glossy, 20-30 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth (optional).
If you are missing a couple of ingredients, you can leave them out or substitute something similar.
If you can't find sweet/hot paprika, use the best smoked one you can find and add a bit more cayenne or chilli flakes to make up for it.