Aura’s Brisket

March 24, 2009

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There is a way of preparing brisket that I fondly remember from my days in Texas.  Most often in Texas, brisket is smoked, but down in the Big Bend, it was most often prepared by braising and served shredded in a BBQ-type sauce.  I think of it fondly, but rarely make it because in order to get a proper brisket (that means one with all the fat still attached) I have to buy a full brisket which feeds about 20 people.  And you know how rarely I entertain 20 people!

So, imagine my delight when I was at Fred Meyer and spotted a nice half brisket!  Normally I have to cut the thing in half and cook it in two pans, but this was a dream come true!

If you want to use your kitchen as a gateway to the flavors of the Big Bend, give this a shot.  And if you like to entertain, ask your butcher to get you a whole brisket and get ready for the admiration of the masses.

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Start with a cut of meat with a decent fat cap.

Place meat in bag or pan (whatever fits!) and sprinkle liberally with the following items on both sides of meat:

Salt

Smoked Paprika

Cayenne (use as much or as little as your family likes)

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Rub the meat well, then cover with brown sugar and rub some more

Cover and refrigerate overnight

Add 8 ounces of beer, wine or cider (whatever is handy) and a couple of carrots, onions and a good bunch of celery (leaves are great) and a bay leaf or two.

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Cook (fat side up) in a covered pan at 250° – 300° for 7-8 hours (until meat peels apart easily).  I used an electric, counter-top roasting oven.

Remove meat to a cutting board.

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Drain pan, discarding solids and retaining liquid.

To the now empty pan, add a large bottle or two of your favorite BBQ sauce. Whisk in enough of the liquid reserved from pan to make a soup consistency.

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Scrape and discard any fat off the top and slice (against the grain) or shred meat and return to pan with sauce. Return to oven for 30 – 60 minutes.

Serve with buns or tortillas.

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