It’s close to Saint Patrick’s Day and corned beef is all the rage—at least in America. Those of you who think boiled meat sounds tepid might consider our twist on this celebratory staple.
Nothing beats a good barbecued brisket and a corned brisket can be just as delicious. But boiling the brisket extracts the same flavor out of the meat as boiled ribs. Sure boiled ribs are tender, but they’re only as good as the BBQ sauce you apply.
Narsai David had a recipe like this years ago and it’s pretty straight forward so we’ll give you our version.
But first, Alton Brown from the Food Network offers a great recipe for brining your own brisket. We include this link more so you know what goes in a good brine. His recipe takes ten days advance prep and we’re already too close to Saint Patrick’s Day to try that. We recommend you simply buy an already corned brisket from your favorite butcher; And try to get the pickling packet along with it or get one from the spice department.
Like pork shoulder or ribs, brisket requires low and slow cooking to break down the connective tissues. You’ll typically find brisket sold as a flat cut or a point cut. We prefer a whole brisket for BBQ but for today’s recipe, the point or deckle end of the brisket is preferred. While the flat or thin part is leaner, less fat means that it will not be as moist or as tender (or flavorful). Let your conscious decide which cut is right for you.
Preheat the oven to 250.
Trim some of the excess fat from the top of the brisket leaving at least a half inch of fat.
Now slather the brisket with salt and pepper and a generous amount of Coleman’s prepared mustard.
In a roasting pan, add the brisket fat side up and cover with foil.
Bake it for about four hours and remove from the oven. How long you need to cook it for will depend on how big your brisket, or cut of brisket is.
Sprinkle a generous portion of brown sugar over the top of the brisket and add the carrots and onions around the side of the pan. Cover with foil again and return to the oven for two more hours. Depending on the size of your brisket, it could take anywhere from a mere 4 hours to 6 hours to get to an internal temperature of at least 145°—165° is preferable. In fact with brisket, you could go up to 190° with a whole brisket and it would still be fine.
The way you know when a brisket is done is by the feel. Since most people probably don’t know what that feel should be, you can simple whack off a small piece and test for tenderness by chomping down a few bites (it’s great to be the cook). Remember though that the outer pieces will be more done than the center so take your temperature reading in the thickest part.
The only trick with brisket (if you could even call it that) is to not let it get so done that it’s dry or stringy, but done enough that it’s not tough.
Once the brisket is done you’ll want to let it stand and rest covered with foil for at least ½ hour—again depending on the size. If you try and cut it right away, not only will you lose precious juices, if you cooked it right it might fall apart—and use a very sharp carving knife.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot on the stove you can add enough water to cover your new potatoes along with pickling spice and a bottle dark beer like Guinness—saving just enough to whet your palate. Bring the brine to just under boiling until the potatoes are near done, add the quartered cabbage and cook for ten more minutes or so.
Slicing the Meat
Think of the brisket like the trunk of a tree. The grain runs in one direction and you want to cut across it, not with it. When you serve you’ll have some nice caramelized carrots and onions along with the cabbage and some brined boiled potatoes and cabbage. The leftover corned beef makes excellent sandwiches but scrape off the brown sugar if you are making hash out of it. Now for the best part–you have five bottles of Guinness left over for a meal with your friends.