Friday, October 15, 2010

Fabulous Friday Food - Baked Brisket

This one is for Angie. Because she asked.

But you can make it too. In fact, I think you should make it too. It's so good--one of my all-time favorite meals. Of all time.

I've been making this recipe forever. Can't you tell? Just look at this recipe card.

But first we have to talk meat. Remember the old David Letterman thing they used to do, "Know Your Cuts of Meat"? Back in the day, B and I used to stay up late watching Letterman. Until he made fun of Sarah Palin just one too many times and even though I still haven't completely made up my mind about Sarah Palin, I just couldn't take Dave making fun of a woman like that. Just couldn't take it. And so, with a sigh, I turned off the T.V. one night and haven't watched him since.

Take that, Dave.

Anyway, today I'm recalling the old Letterman days because I have just a little meaty lesson for you. Cue the music, Paul.

This here is a brisket.

I know it looks a little weird in this packaging, but that's the way they usually come--at least from my butcher. The brisket is a big, kind of fatty, cut of meat that comes from the underside of a cow (sorry, Dad--I know I should probably say steer here). Brisket comes in a big piece--5 or 6 pounds--so it's not a cheap piece of meat, but believe me, it is worth every penny. There will be no waste with this recipe--you will want to eat every bite.

So now, open the package very carefully, preferably over a sink so the blood can drain out. The meat will look like this.

See the kind of big layer of fat on there? You'll want to cut that off or have your butcher trim it up for you. I did it myself, but I'm not showing you a picture of that because . . . eew.

Anyway, after you've trimmed your brisket a bit (go ahead and leave a little fat on it because, as we all know from watching Food Network, fat means flavor, right?), lay it in a close-fitting pan like this.

O.K., so you have your meat, trimmed of excess fat, and lying in a pan. Now what?

How 'bout some sauce? Oh yes, the sauce makes this sooooo delish. And it only takes a few ingredients.

Dijon mustard, brown sugar, lemon juice, ketchup, worcestershire, and salt. That's it. You've probably got all that hanging around. Mix it together so it looks like this.

Pour it over the meat.

Nothing to it, right? You still with me?

Pop it in a 300 degree oven (my girl Sandra Lee--notsomuch--always says "Pop it in the oven" and it drives me crazy. Crazy, I tell you!) and shut the door. For about 4 hours.

Just as an aside, don't you just love my retro Magnalite pan? It used to be my grandma's, but I snagged it when she moved one time. I absolutely love this pan and wouldn't trade it for the world.

After about 4 hours, this is what you'll have. Take the lid off the pan and give it another half hour, basting often. Just because.

Here is where you separate the men from the boys . . . or the meat from the juice.

Lay the meat on a tray with sides and let it cool for a bit. You'll want to skim the rest of the fat off the meat, but, of course, no picture of that because . . . eew.

Using a strainer to catch the rest of the gross stuff, pour the juices into a saucepan, and bring them to a boil.

Now make a slurry of cornstarch and warm water. No big deal. You can do this. Just mix 2 tablespoons of each in a small bowl and carefully pour some, but not all, of it into the juices. Don't pour it all at once or your sauce might get too thick. Use about half, stir the sauce for a minute, and see how it goes. If it's not thick enough, add some more of the cornstarch until you get the right consistency. You want it saucy, not pasty. Got it?

Now, back to the meat that is now de-fatted and resting on the pan. Slice it. It might just fall apart on you, like mine did today, but try your best to make slices. If you want (and this is probably a good idea if you have the time), put the piece of meat in the fridge for an hour or so before you slice it.

Anyway, slice away and place the meat into a pretty dish. Pour the sauce over the whole thing and try not to eat it all in one sitting. Or before your family comes home. Because (and I know this from experience), it's pretty hard to resist all that meaty, saucy, juicy goodness. Oh my.

Here's the great thing about this recipe--you can make it ahead. In fact, I made it this morning and we're not eating it until Sunday. But it's all done, sitting in my fridge just soaking up the yummy, yummy sauce. And on Sunday all I have to do is warm it up in the oven for a bit. Easy peasy.

So there. Brisket. Go make it and let me know what you think.

Baked Brisket

1 5-6 pound beef brisket, trimmed

1 T. Dijon mustard
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. ketchup
3 T. worcestershire
1 t. salt

1. Lay meat in a close-fitting pan. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over trimmed meat. Cover. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 4 hours, until tender. Uncover pan for the last 1/2 hour and baste meat often.

2. Remove meat to a carving board and skim off excess fat. Let meat cool for a bit before slicing.

3. Strain juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Blend 2 T. cornstarch with 2 T. warm water in a small bowl and stir gradually into juices to desired consistency. Pour over sliced meat and serve. Makes 10-12 servings.

Now it's your turn to share! Got a Fabulous Friday Food link? Add it here . . .

Now get cooking!


P.S. Did you notice that I did this as a special request? If you've got a recipe you'd like me to feature on Fab Friday Food, let me know. I just might give it a try!


  1. Wow. Yum. I must make that - my family would love it!! I don't have a pan like that though. Wonder if I could just use a 9x13 and cover with foil? My roaster is the other option, but I think it's too big.

  2. Lisa, I think either would work. You just don't want too much room around the edges--I think that keeps it moist.

  3. Best line of the recipe?

    "Using a strainer to catch the rest of the gross stuff. . ."

    Awesome recipe!! Thanks for posting it.

  4. Girl you should see my cookbooks.
    I love me some brisket!

  5. I love brisket. :)

    And I forgot about Fab Friday Food. Sorry!! I just linked up a recipe that I'm looking forward to using as soon as it gets a little cooler...

  6. Thanks. I always need a new way to make the brisket we get when we butcher. Your recipe makes it look so good.