I do this thing every April that involves me cooking a brisket, a huge tray of mac & cheese, spring salad, roasted vegetable, a dessert–or basically my menu of choice. I call it tax season. My friend's CPA husband gets to eat real cooking for days and I can trust actual expertise with my filing. It's really the only thing good that can possibly come from absolutely no one's favorite time of year.
Over the years, I've learned through many Jews, BBQ enthusiasts and Texans that people get pretty personal about their brisket. Tomato-based? Smoked? Sweet? Mushrooms? It's all a matter of preference; I don't discriminate against any, as long as there's flavor and it's tender. That I think we can collectively agree on.
The key to God-like tenderness is low-and-slow cooking, and acid. In this recipe, the tomatoes and vinegar act the part of acid, and you'll notice that I have cooking times ranging from 6-10 hours. Another crucial step is the let this cool completely in its liquid before cutting and serving. A day or two or three is ideal if you can plan ahead. I purposely wanted to include this as slow-cooker recipe since it makes the process pretty pain-free. I figure it's a fair trade-off for the long cooking time. The spice mix is based partly on what I had in my pantry and fully on flavors that I know mesh well. It's not a spicy dish, but if that's your thing, I'd up the chili powder and add some cayenne.
I'm dying to know YOUR favorite brisket recipes or places....please do share!
7 Spice Brisket
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 4-6)
- 2 ½ to 3 # brisket
- kosher salt and pepper, to season
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick (or substitute ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 1-28oz. can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup sherry vinegar (or substitute cider vinegar or red wine vinegar)
- ¼ cup molasses
1. Unwrap the brisket and blot dry with a paper towel. Liberally season every side with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
2. Place a large sauté pan (large enough to fit the entire brisket), over high heat. Have tongs ready. Add the canola oil and when oil is very hot, add the brisket (fatty side first) and sear all sides until a deep golden brown. This will take about 10 minutes, maybe more. When complete, place in slow cooker bowl.
3. Turn heat down to medium and add the sliced onion. Using a rubber spatula, evenly coat onion with the meaty oil and sweat until translucent, about 4 minutes. While this is happening, measure out your spice mixture: paprika, chili powder, kosher salt, coriander, cloves, allspice, cardamom and cinnamon stick.
4. Add the spice mixture to the onions and mix everything evenly, then add the diced tomatoes. Add the water to the tomato can to get anything left in there and then add that, the vinegar and molasses to the onion mixture. Stir everything.
5. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker, fully submerging the brisket on every side. Cook on high for 6-8 hours or low 8-10 hours. Let cool in its own liquid and slice once refrigerated (preferably overnight). To reheat, cover desired reheating dish with foil/cover at 325 F for 60-90 minutes, or until hot.
–This recipe works best if you make this a day or two before serving and can refrigerate overnight before slicing.
–I know what you're thinking....do not skip the step of searing the meat! I won't get into why right here.
–I wouldn’t recommend reheating in slow cooker because it takes too long and you risk temperature danger zone issues. Use the oven.