Brisket – Southwestern style pulled beef

There was a brisket joint at the butchers last week – it was cheap, looked good and with a Bank Holiday looming, I figured it was bound to be slow-cooking weather. So in the inevitable pissing rain, I  went searching for a recipe this morning.

I’ve never cooked it before and my only real reference point was episodes of the Big Bang Theory. I did wonder about a more traditional British approach, but I can’t resist American BBQ food so went for Southwestern Pulled Brisket. It’s a really easy recipe and the result is meltingly tender beef in a tangy, smokey sauce.

I’ve had to convert a bit from the US recipe but here’s the ingredients:

1 1/2lb beef brisket

sea salt and pepper to season

2 cloves garlic, smashed up

1/2 onion, finely sliced

2 tsp chilli powder/flakes

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or smokey chilli sauce would do)

2 tablespoons balsamic/cider vinegar

3/4 pint water

1 tin of tomatoes

1 bayleaf

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar or black treacle

First season and brown the beef in a heavy casserole. Move it out of the pan and fry the onion, garlic, chilli, coriander, cumin and paprika for about a minute. Then add the vinegar and scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan, until most of the vinegar has gone. Add the water and the tin of tomatoes, chopping them up as they go in. Add the sugar and bay leaf.

Put the meat back into the pan, bring back to the boil and cover tightly with a lid – I added a layer of foil to make the seal tighter. The real recipe advises using a slow cooker for eight hours.

I’m using an oven at 130 decC for six hours, turning the brisket once halfway through. Time to go and do something more interesting for a bit – I went to the pictures.

To serve, pull the meat apart while still in the pot and stir through it gets a good coating of sauce. If the sauce is too thin, reduce it on the stove top a bit first. Mine needed about 30 mins.

We ate it with coleslaw, crusty bread and potato rostis – would be good with rice and salad too. It makes epic sandwiches.

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Categories: Beef, Beef lamb and pork, Weekend, Winter


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