Until a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about the different types and cuts of meat.  I didn’t know what brisket was.  I had always associated it with pastrami or corned beef or something like that.  For someone who was a vegetarian for ten years, it didn’t concern me a whole lot.  But now that I am meat eater, and a happy one at that, it wasn’t until I stopped at the Whole Foods meat counter that I entertained the thought of cooking my own brisket.  The butcher gave me a sample of some that was slow cooked the night before and, holy moley, was it GOOD.  It was tender and flavorful and I wanted more.  So I bought myself a good sized hunk of brisket and set about the task of reproducing that succulent piece of meat.

The friendly butcher gave me some simple but useful tips on cooking brisket – keep the temperature low and cook it for a long time.  A long, long time.  Like 12 hours long.  So that’s what I did.  I rubbed it with some love and threw it in the oven before I went to bed.  (Now if my mother were to read this, she’d probably sieze up with worry that I would ever leave a heat-producing appliance unsupervised while her child and grandchild slept, but I figured that my smoke detectors and, more importantly, my husband would alert me before the house burns down.)

When I woke up the next morning, the house smelled like meat heaven, if there is such a place.  As I mentioned before, I am a big proponent of hands-off cooking and I was really happy with the results.  The long and slow process breaks down all the connective tissue and yields a rich and moist brisket.  Check it out. 

Low and Slow Brisket

Serves 6 (with plenty left over)

One 3 – 4 pound organic, grass-fed brisket

3 – 5 tablespoons dry rub (recipe below or use your favorite)

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and pat dry brisket.
  3. Sprinkle dry rub, salt and pepper over the brisket and give it a nice rub all around.
  4. Place meat on baking sheet and roast for the 10 to 12 hours.
  5. Optional: Brush brisket with barbeque sauce and return to oven for a few more minutes.
  6. Let meat rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Dry Rub Seasoning (adapted from here and here)

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

4 tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredient together and store in air tight container.

The butcher has offered to trim the fat from the brisket but I asked him to leave it on.  I thought having too little might make the meat dry after all the cooking.  Because my family and friends like barbeque sauce, I did the optional step, extra sugar and all, and served some more sauce on the side as well.  Yum, yum!

For all you fellow happy carnivores, I hope you’ll try this.  If you like slow cooking, let me know how and what you cook.

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