There’s a lot of things in life that I’m impatient about:
3) New seasons of Dexter and Homeland to start
So for me, slow-cooking is a real challenge. I’ve been known to burn an entire layer of skin off the inside of my mouth because I can never wait for things to cool down before I dive into them, because sometimes things just look sooooo goooood that I am willing to sacrifice a burnt tongue and those funny little blisters that form on the roof of my mouth to get that first bite.
And after waiting 6 hours for this Texas Beef Brisket to cook, well let’s just say R.I.P tastebuds.
I found this recipe on Food Network, and after reading a lot of the reviews underneath, it seemed to me that most people used it as a base and then added their own touches to it. Which is exactly what I did, and while sometimes my ‘a little bit of this and a little of that’ can lead to a mess of a dinner, this time I’m pretty sure I nailed it. And what better to serve Texas Pulled Brisket on than buttery biscuits?
Don’t even think about those 100 calorie sandwich thins. Don’t you dare.
Texas Pulled Beef Brisket Biscuit Sliders
*Inspired by Food Network – Biscuit recipe from Alton Brown
For the Brisket:
3-4 lbs of beef brisket
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 bay leaf crushed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons stone ground dijon mustard
2 cups beef broth
2 – 12oz cans/bottles beer of your choice
(I used Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale which is like an IPA)
1) Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, prepare your spice rub by combining all of the spices (from Kosher salt to red pepper flakes). Set aside.
2) In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil and dijon mustard until combined. Then rub the mixture all over the brisket. After the brisket is covered in the dijon marinade, you can then cover it with the spice rub.
3) Place the brisket in a roasting pan and cook uncovered for 1 hour.
4) After an hour, reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Remove the brisket from the oven and add the beef broth and beer to the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook for another 3 hours or until the meat has become fork tender and shreddable.
5) Shred the brisket, place the meat in a dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet with the juices from the bottom of the pan and simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. This step really is optional, but I like to let the meat absorb all the flavors of the juices. You could also take the juices and reduce them in a small saucepan to make a reduction for the brisket.
For The Biscuits
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup chilled buttermilk
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.)
3) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
4) Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter (I don’t have a cutter, but the top of a wine glass works great!) Be sure to push straight down through the dough.
5) Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.
6) Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until biscuits are tall and light gold on top.
7) Assemble your sliders by slicing a biscuit and loading it up with shredded brisket.
I had some broccoli slaw that I threw on for a splash of color, but even just on their own, these are little pieces of heaven 🙂
Dave can sometimes be competitive – well let’s say like 99.9999999% of the time anyway. And sometimes I think it’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s kind of annoying, especially when he does it with silly, everyday things that really don’t warrant being competitive – like when we go to a restaurant, and he proclaims that he can make that dish better than they can – or when we take a leisurely bike ride to get ice cream like a mile down the street from our house, and he rides 50 feet in front of me doing all these fancy bike tricks while I sit back on my Huffy from 7th grade and roll my eyes. Stuff like that.
So Friday, we decided to try this new place in Allston called Lone Star Taco, being that it was Cinco de Mayo eve. And it was delicous! A very simple menu, with only 6 types of tacos to choose from, a few other side dishes, and a selection of Tequillas that would make your head spin. But one of the favorite flavors of taco that we got was the smoked brisket taco. Yum. And I made the mistake of saying “Ya know, I bet you could make this at home in the crock pot” and Dave went on to tell me that it was impossible, because smoking meat is completely different than cooking it in the crockpot, and you’d never be able to achieve the same flavor – wah wah wahhhhh. And so my competitive side came out and I said “I will accept that challenge”. And accept I did 🙂
Southwestern Pulled Brisket Tacos
*Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
3 pounds beef brisket
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dark Karo syrup
(you could also use brown sugar or molasses)
1) Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker; leave the skillet on the heat.
2) Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
3) Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket.
4) Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and karo syrup.
5) Cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 to 10 hours (my piece of brisket was only 2.5 lbs, so I did 8 hours)
6) After 8 hours, shred the beef. Strain the vegetables, etc. from the sauce and return to the crock pot. Return the shredded beef to the crock pot as well. Cook on low for another 2 hours or so (this will help the sauce infuse into the meat)
Pickled Red Onions
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 to 3 really good shots hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
1 red onion, sliced into very thin rings
1) In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar with 1/2 cup of cold tap water.
2) Stir in salt, the sugar and the hot sauce.
3) Add the sliced onions and let sit for at least one hour.
*As with most things, the longer you let these ‘pickle’ the better!
You’ve waited a long time – GO EAT! As an added optional step, I took the sauce from the crockpot and let reduce for about 20 minutes over low heat in a saucepan and served the sauce with the tacos in addition to the picked onions. Just for some extra flavor.
So what’s the verdict you ask? Was my pulled brisket taco better than Lone Star’s? Well, let’s just say, that after 3 tacos, Dave said “we should definitely make that again” which = “Wow Kate, you were right – you CAN make it just as good in the crockpot” – I’m really good at reading minds 🙂
Hope everyone enjoyed their Cinco de Mayo weekend!