Sunday, May 24, 2009

hippychick's first texas brisket

i've been in central texas coming on four years in august and i have yet to take a shot at a slow cooked texas brisket.

i have to my good fortune tasted many a drop dead - melt in your mouth - fall off the fork briskets served at some of the most genuine bb-q gathering places in the area. i have also tasted bites from briskets that were not so well prepared - i will not share names - as tastes may vary and i see no gain in exposing those folk when it may simply be a matter of preference.

from what i can tell, the way one prepares texas brisket is highly personal. each person, each restaurant, each bb-q, each side of the highway vending trailer have their own secret recipe, they each have their own secret as to how long a brisket should be cooked and how hot the heat should be and even which type of wood chips, how long the wood chips should soak and when you should place the wood chips on the coals, and so on and so on.

in celebration of the personal touch, i share with you my very first brisket experience. i will also share with you my recipe - or at least the ingredients. i am one of those folk who does not measure which i guess keeps the genuine recipe a secret after all - only i know for sure just how the bits should taste once well mixed but i will do my best to be clear.

first - choosing the cut
  • i purchased my brisket from a local farmer
  • i explained it was my first brisket
  • the farmer handed me the cut and said four words - slow cooking is key
the wet mix -
i decided i would use ingredients that i love. i also knew i wanted a bit of hot, a bit of sweet and a bit of savory. i like deep tones of berry, dark beer and smoked chilli. i chose to employ my "everything tastes a little better with coffee" rule which leads me to the following list of wet mix goods.
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • dried smoked ancho chilli
  • fresh ginger
  • fresh garlic
  • honey
  • paprika
  • fresh picked herbs from the garden minced in my coffee grinder in order to release the oils
  • brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh peaches
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • fresh fine ground coffee
i whirred the goods in a processor to gain the proper consistency which to me what a bit gritty but not chunky. i knew that i had a good thing going when i found myself having trouble keeping my own finger out of the mix. in fact i caught myself thinking - i need to can this and sell it - damn it's tasty!

  • i cut my brisket into three manageable pieces - it was huge and would not have fit in any of my larger roasting dishes in one whole does it really cook down that much? really? piece
  • i placed each piece into a super large ziplock bag
  • i poured 1/3 of the batch into each bag
  • i let this soak over night in the fridge - getting up in the middle of the night to flip each bag so as to allow proper infusion
  • come morning, i wrapped each piece in heavy duty foil
  • one piece went into the freezer for future goodness
  • the other two went into an oven heated to 225˚f where they are now
  • i plan to cook them for 6 hours at this low heat
  • fingers are crossed but i can tell you right now, it smells freakin' amazing!
in case it's a bust, i've got chicken and locally made sausages ready to hit the grill. something tells me, all will be well.

we will see what the visiting folk think...
for now, it's time to mow the lawn, clean up a bit and take care of some creature needs.
enjoy your week-end!

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