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Mike’s Hot Spicy Food Recipes

Brisket --- Mmmmm .... Fatty unhealthy, but tasty beef!


Slow cooking key for tender brisket

by Karen Fernau - Nov. 10, 2010 12:39 PM

The Arizona Republic

Tough is good for linebackers and shoe leather, but not for brisket.

"There's nothing more disappointing than biting into a piece of beef that should be tender, but turns out really chewy and tough," said Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue in Cave Creek. Brisket ranks as one of the toughest cuts of beef, but it turns butter-knife tender when cooked right. Cut from the lower chest, directly behind the fore shank, brisket doesn't take kindly to heat. It must be cooked long and slowly whether braising, smoking, roasting or stewing.

The trade-off for time is its he-man beefy flavor. The tougher the muscle, the better the taste. Brisket - one of the cheaper cuts of beef, selling for about $2 to $2.50 a pound - is enjoying a renaissance among budget-minded consumers. At Hobe Meats in Phoenix, sales are spiking.

"I sell more briskets now than in the last five years because customers are looking for affordable, filling meats that taste fabulous," said Hobe owner Bret Pont, who also sells Kobe brisket for $5.99 a pound. "In my opinion, brisket has been way underrated for too long. It's finally getting its due."

Brisket's leading roles have been as Texas-style barbecue or Jewish roast, but fans of this cut know it has more potential. Dooley tinkers with tradition by pairing brisket with black-eyed peas and a savory tomato sauce for a hearty chili, and douses a sage-and-juniper-berry-rubbed brisket with a persimmon glaze.

"Brisket can take strong flavors and, in fact, I think tastes better when boldly seasoned," Dooley said.

Brisket also can be used instead of chuck for a New England-style stew or for ground beef in lasagna, burritos and enchiladas.

When buying brisket, find the leanest piece you can. Marbling is great for steaks, but the fat veins in brisket are more of the hard-to-chew, ropelike variety. All cuts have a layer of fat that adds to the flavor and tenderness of the final cooked dish. Cook the brisket with the fat on, and cut it off before serving.

There are several cuts available, but the best choice is a flat half or single-cut brisket.

Typically, brisket is sold in huge pieces but shrinks when cooked. Aim for at least a half-pound per person.

One final piece of advice: Slice brisket against the grain. Doing so helps break down the tendons of brisket and improves its tenderness.

"If you think of brisket as a tough cut," Dooley said, "you don't know what you are missing."

Details: Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue, 6130 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, 480-575-7155,; Hobe Meats, 6044 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-604-2333,

Reach the reporter at or 602-444-4779.


How to smoke brisket

by Karen Fernau - Nov. 10, 2010 12:39 PM

The Arizona Republic

Slowly smoked brisket is a favorite at any barbecue joint. Like cooking in the oven, smoking brisket requires low temperatures and lots of time. Follow these steps to smoke rather than bake brisket.

- Soak 6 cups hickory or oak chips or chunks for 1 hour in cold water. Drain well.

- Cover brisket with sage-and-juniper rub, or any other spice rub, on all sides.

- Let the brisket stand in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 6 hours.

- Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to low. If using a gas grill, place wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch, and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to low.

- When ready to cook on a charcoal grill, toss 1 cup wood chips on the coals. Place the brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum-foil pan in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill.

- Grill until the brisket is tender, about 6 to 8 hours. The cooking time depends on the size of the brisket and the heat of the grill.

- For a charcoal grill, add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup wood chips per side every hour. To prevent brisket from drying out, wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil for the last 1 1/2 to 2 hours of cooking.

- Test for doneness with an instant-read meat thermometer. Temperature should be about 190 degrees.

- Let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve as is, or with barbecue sauce or persimmon glaze.


Sage and Juniper Spice-Rubbed Brisket with Persimmon Glaze

Nov. 10, 2010 12:39 PM

Chef Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

For the rub:

  • 2 tablespoons ground juniper berries (a coffee grinder works well)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder

Mix all ingredients.

For the persimmon glaze:

  • 1/2 cup persimmon puree
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, blend well and simmer. Keep warm until just before serving.

For the brisket:

  • 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-pound boneless beef brisket
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously rub brisket on all sides with spice rub. Heat oil in Dutch oven or heavy baking dish on medium heat until hot. Add beef brisket and lightly brown on both sides and remove. Pour off drippings. Return brisket to pan and add beef stock. Cover tightly and cook for 3 to 4 hours. To serve, cut against the grain and cover with warm brisket glaze.

Makes 4 servings.


Brisket and Black-Eyed-Pea Chili

Nov. 10, 2010 12:39 PM

Chef Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole, crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound brisket, roasted or smoked, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

Heat saute pan on medium high. Add olive oil, and when hot add onion and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add canned tomatoes with their juice, black-eyed peas and chopped brisket. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add chopped jalapeño before serving, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Traditional Brisket

Nov. 10, 2010 12:39 PM

The Arizona Republic

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 packages onion-soup mix
  • 8 to 9 pounds beef brisket
  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine garlic powder, salt, pepper and onion-soup mix. Coat brisket with spice mixture. Spread the mustard, then ketchup, over the seasoned brisket and place in an ovenproof Dutch oven or similar covered pan.

Pour white wine and beef stock around the brisket so you don't rinse off the seasonings.

Cover and bake brisket 35 to 40 minutes per pound. (An 8-pound brisket cooks for approximately 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours.) Cool brisket in pan and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove layer of fat that has solidified and reserve the remaining liquid from pan. Carve cold brisket into 1/4-inch-thin slices and return to pan. Pour 1 cup of the reserved liquid over the brisket slices. Cover and reheat at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Overlap slices on platter to serve.

Makes 12 servings.

Friends don’t let friends buy spices at American grocery stores!

Mike’s Hot Spicy Food Recipes