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How to Cook Brisket

How to Cook Brisket

When properly cooked, briskets are tender and tasty.

By FamilyTime

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Many home cooks may not think of brisket when they think of cooking beef, but there are plenty of good reasons to try it. First, it tastes good; second, it’s easy to prepare; third, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Need more reasons?

Fourth, brisket is a key ingredient in many pot roasts; fifth brisket makes delicious sandwiches.

We could go on!

Brisket Defined
Brisket is cut from the breast section of the beef, just below the first five ribs. It’s nearly always sold without the bone and is divided into two sections.

These half briskets are the flat and the point cuts. The flat cut has less fat, which is never very much in a brisket, and is usually slightly more expensive. The point cut is fattier and less expensive.

When brisket is cured, it becomes corned beef. The “corn” refers to an old-fashioned term for the salt granules or grains used to cure the meat.

How to Cook Brisket
Both cuts of brisket are good choices for braising, which is the best way to cook them. The slow, moist cooking breaks down the tough fibers and leaves the meat tender.

This is why brisket often shows up in recipes for pot roast. The meat is braised with vegetables and liquid to produce a warm, comforting meal perfect for winter nights.

Braised dishes don’t require much tending once the ingredients are assembled. They do need some advance planning and time, which is why many home cooks think of them on weekends.

Most recipes call for a three- or four-pound brisket that is cooked in a 300° to 350°F. oven for three or four hours. It’s mixed with aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and also with others like tomatoes and potatoes.

Brisket is always a good choice for slow cookers, too.

Some recipes call for marinating the brisket overnight in the refrigerator with simple ingredients such as a prepared salsa, a fruit preserve, or a little Worcestershire or soy sauce.

Because brisket is not fatty enough to produce it’s own pan juices, as is the case with a rib roast, it needs liquid when it cooks. This may be as simple as water or canned soup or, more elegantly, beef broth and wine.

Corned beef, while cured, still needs to be cooked. After the brine is rinsed off, it’s generally simmered in water for about two hours and then served hot (as for corned beef and cabbage) or warm and sliced (as for corned beef sandwiches).

How to Serve Brisket
If you make a braised brisket, whether as a pot roast or other dish, it will taste just as good (some would say better!) on the next day.

Brisket also makes good leftovers. Slice it up for sandwiches or serve it with rice or noodles.

Corned beef, as mentioned, is great for sandwiches.

Brisket should be cut across the grain when it’s served. Otherwise, it may seem a little tough. Serve the brisket with its delicious gravy spooned over it.


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