Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is Brisket and why should I try it?

According to Wikpedia, Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal (and affordable). Popular methods in the Southern United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. This is a form of smoking the meat.

 Basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process to soften the fibers which will tenderize the meat. This normally is a tough cut of meat, that has collagen fibers. When the collagen gelatinizes, it results in a more tender brisket. The fat is often left attached to the brisket and helps to keep the meat from over-drying during cooking, which is necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat. 

Water or broth is usually used for this conversion of collagen to gelatin.  Pot Roast (what most people call it) usually has root vegetables, gravy and mashed potatoes, or hot quinoa as a side.

Try it in a slow cooker. Cooked brisket, is boneless and carves well after refrigeration. Make it a day or two ahead, slice it when cold, and let meat marinate in juices for up to two days. This can be reheated and perfect for those make ahead dinners you know you won't have time for later. Or try it cold as a salad topper.

So with that in mind I found some good recipes for Brisket, an affordable meat, did I say that again? Remember that brisket shrinks quite a bit. So go big and make sure your ingredients are gluten free. Also, even thought Brisket is inexpensive some added ingredients can be expensive. 

I love the added fruit to these recipes from www.bonappetit.com/search/query?query=brisket&qt=dismax&sort=score+desc&global-search-submit.x=0&global-search-submit.y=0&global-search-submit=submit&allRecipes=true  if you are a seasoned cook. If you are new to cooking, maybe do it in a slow cooker and adapt to your Gluten Free Diet. You can change the corn starch to potato starch, and use Gluten Free Beer (found at BevMo) http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooked-barbecue-beer-beef/detail.aspx.

One  person writes: The best oven cooked brisket starts with liberally shaking on a bottle of liquid smoke over it (make sure to trim the fat) and putting it in the fridge overnight... Next morning, drain the marinade and cooking it in a 275 degree oven for 5 hours, (fat side up), remove from oven, cover with your favorite BBQ sauce and cook for another hour...Let cool a bit and slice it diagonally....I am basing this on a 5-6 lb brisket.*

*I would not add salt as the smoke flavoring would be enough. Personally I would add slices of garlic to the marinade, and make my own BBQ sauce. It seems most people like the smokey flavor added to the meat.

Here is another one that is easy from Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Mothers-Brisket-13482 all these make fabulous left over’s!

Check out your Grandma's or mom's recipes and make them gluten free. This is a favorite all year around.

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