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Brisket is a cut of beef for every season and a part of cuisines of many cultures.
What is Brisket of Beef
One of the nine prime cuts of beef, brisket can be braised for winter pot roast, barbecued in summer and even cured in brine for St. Patrick’s Day corned beef. From pot au feu in France to burnt ends in Kansas City, brisket is the start of many wonderful meals.
What Cut is Brisket
The brisket is cut from the chest of the cow. Because a cow has no collarbones, this chest muscle supports 60% of the cow’s weight. As a result, it is full of cartilage and connective tissue. A brisket cut is usually divided into two pieces for sale: the point cut and the flat cut.
- The rectangular flat cut is the larger meatier piece. It has less fat than the point cut but slices better. This cut is best suited for slow braises.
- The point cut is fattier and triangular. Point cuts are often smoked for barbecue and deliver delicious burnt ends.
Both cuts have the ribs removed and usually come with a fat cap, that has been trimmed by the butcher.
How do you Cook a Beef Brisket
There are many methods for cooking brisket, but all involve low heat and long cooking times.
The cartilage and connective tissue will turn to flavorful gelatin when cooked slowly.
Most recipes call for the fat cap to remain in place during cooking. It will baste the meat. Braised brisket recipes call for anything from a single carrot to a can of Coca-Cola, and most families will swear by their secret recipe. All include a heavy-duty pot with lid, liquid, and hours in the oven.
A 3-4 lb brisket will need 4-5 hours in a 325-degree oven. An 8-10 lb roast will take 7-8 hours. Seal the pot with both foil and a lid. Check the liquid level periodically and keep the brisket submerged. To serve braised brisket cut into thin slices against the grain.
Barbecued brisket is usually massaged with a dry rub before being smoked. Smoking slow cooks the beef indirectly over a wood fire. Often hardwoods such as cherry and pecan are used to add extra flavor.
BBQ brisket can be sliced, chopped, or pulled. Brisket can also be cured in a spicy brine to make corned beef or pastrami. The brine spices include peppercorn, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and mustard seed.
Corned beef is boiled after being marinated. Pastrami is smoked after being cured.
Is Brisket a Cheap Cut of Meat?
While brisket may be one of the least expensive cuts of meat per pound, keep in mind that it will lose half its weight in the cooking process. Chuck roast, blade roast, and short rib can be substituted for brisket when necessary, but these cuts have less flavor. Flank steak, which also comes from the underside of the cow, is very flavorful but is best cooked quickly at high heat.
Nutritional Value of Beef Brisket
Like all beef, brisket is a good source of protein with 6 grams in every ounce. Brisket also delivers oleic acid, which can increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad (LDL). The cut is a good source of B vitamins, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and selenium.
Simple Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe
- 600g/750g Brisket Joint
- 1 Onion
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery Sticks 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Puree
- 2 Tablespoon Caramelised Onions
- 2 Tablespoon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcester Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Thyme
- 1 Beef Stock Pot
- 200ml Red wine