Considered one of the lesser cuts of beef, the brisket is not only economical but also packed with flavour if cooked correctly. According to the USDA, braising is the best method for cooking beef brisket. Braising is not difficult and is accomplished by slow cooking the brisket in a small amount of liquid. Braising can be done on the hob, in the oven or in a slow cooker.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sharp knife
- Cooking oil
- Dutch oven
- Covered roasting pan
- Slow cooker (optional)
- Meat thermometer
Trim all visible fat from the brisket using a sharp knife. Most beef briskets sold in the grocery store have a thick layer of fat on one side; trim this away.
Season the brisket liberally with salt and pepper or any other seasonings you may desire. You can use steak seasoning mixes or spice blend rubs to season a brisket.
Heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil over medium high heat in the bottom of a Dutch oven. If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can use a large, heavy skillet.
Place the brisket in the pot, fat side down to start with, turning the brisket to sear all sides in the hot oil.
Add 1 cup of water or beef broth to the pot and cover. Alternatively, transfer the brisket to a slow cooker and add 1/2 cup water or broth and cover. If you browned the brisket in a skillet, transfer to a covered roasting pan, add 1 cup broth or water, and cover tightly.
Cook the brisket by slow roasting in the oven at 163 degrees Celsius for three to four hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 71.1 degrees C. If cooking on the hob, turn the heat to medium low and cook for the same amount of time. If using a slow cooker, set the temperature to low and cook for eight to 10 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
Tips and warnings
- If you have neither a Dutch oven nor a covered roasting pan, you can improvise by using a disposable roasting pan and aluminium foil. Use the same cooking directions for slow roasting in the oven.
- The larger the brisket you buy, the greater the savings. Cut large briskets into meal size portions, and freeze the additional cuts.
- When serving brisket, cut the meat across the grain. This shortens the fibres of the meat, making it more tender.
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