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I am having a small get together this weekend and am preparing a beef brisket for this. This is quite an easy meat dish, and it is incredibly easy to prepare.  What’s even better is that it tastes like a lot of work went into it, while the actual work to be done is very little.  I took the recipe from here and modified it to my liking.  If your still in the beginning stages of cooking, I highly recommend following the recipe exactly.  Then, when you taste it, you can try to figure out what you like about it and what you don’t (Is it too spicy?  Too much salt?  Not enough au jus?, et cetera).

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
1 1/2 cups beef stock

*** I leave out the sugar as I don’t think it alters the taste very much.  You should be aware that sugar often acts as a tenderizer in meat so you may wish to keep it in other meat recipes such as ribs.  However, I have not noticed any difference in the flavor or tenderness of brisket when I leave it out.

DIRECTIONS 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make a dry rub by combining chili powder, salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard, and bay leaf. Season the raw brisket on both sides with the rub. Place in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Add beef stock and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Lower oven to 300 degrees F, cover pan tightly and continue cooking for 3 hours, or until fork-tender.

Trim the fat and slice meat thinly across the grain. Top with juice from the pan.

MY NOTES

~ I have been able to find some nice briskets at a good price at the warehouse stores.  The ones in my local grocery store tend to be small and quite expensive.

~ I think this is too much spice. It’s just too much of a good thing.  However, I do mix up a full batch (as you get better at cooking you won’t need to measure the spices, but rather eyeball it and this will save you some time) and I save the extra spice in a glass jar or small bowl and use it for the next one I make.  It lasts for a very long time.

~ I also leave out the black pepper.  Maritus doesn’t care for it and I don’t miss it at all.

~ I cook mine in my iron frying pan.  The 3-5 pounders fit in there well and they will cook down quite a bit.

~ I add enough beef broth to go up more than half the sides of the meat.  I make it from a beef bouillon powder and it comes out quite good.  DO NOT forget to cover the meat after the first hour.  Yes, I speak from experience here.  If your pan does not have a cover, heavy duty tin foil works very well.

~  This comes out very tender and it may fall apart as you try to lift it from the pan.  Just try to lift it out with two forks or a pair of tongs and do your best.  The goal here is not for it to look pretty, but for it to taste good.  It seems like a lot of people are concerned with presentation of a meal, and while it is a very nice thing, it is not what people will remember.   Don’t fret too much over how it looks.  It’s not important and few people will remember how it was presented.  People will remember the company kept and the flavor of the meal.

~ Please remember to cut against the grain!  This is very important and this is a huge part of what makes it fall-apart tender.  If you cut with the grain, the consistency will be wrong.

~ The au jus is also very good.  Make sure to put this out at well.

~ This is excellent left over especially if you refrigerate it in the jus and warm it like that the next day.  It’s also a perfect lunch warmed up for your husband at work!

***Briskets are incredible smoked and then shredded with some homemade BBQ sauce as well.  Unfortunately, while I have had brisket made by others this way, I don’t have a smoker so have never done it myself.  Prepared this way has to be the best brisket I’ve ever had.  It’s amazing.

** UPDATE: Try Danny’s brisket recipe as well!

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