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Briskets are incredible-perhaps the most flavorful of all cuts-if cooked at low temperatures for a long time. A tightly covered cooking container is a must, or frequent basting on the grill as moist heat methods are always used. We use a very large Dutch oven. You can also place the brisket in a glass baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil (be careful to not allow the foil to touch the meat).  We have cooked briskets for as long as 9-12 hours to allow full breakdown of all of the structure of the meat.  If protected from drying, the longer the better, as a wonderful blend of flavors occurs when cooking for a long time.  We recommend searing the brisket first.  This can be done on high heat on the grill, in a heavy fry pan or Dutch oven on the stovetop, or by placing in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sear until the outside is well-browned, but don't cook the meat.  The actual cooking of the brisket should be done at low temperatures.

If you don't have 9 hours, you can cook briskets at higher temperatures for shorter time.    We will cook short-term briskets at 300-350 for 3 hours, checking moisture in the Dutch, and adding water or wine if necessary to prevent drying.  Most of the recipes given below describe the fast way to cook the brisket.  All can be adapted to longer slow cooking.

On the grill, cook a brisket very slowly, turning about every 15 minutes, and basting as it cooks. A good grilled brisket might take 3 hours (minimum) or more to cook  We recommend basting often to prevent the grilled meat from drying out.  Some folks will grill it for as much as 8 or 9 hours, wrapped in foil to preserve moisture and adding moisturizers like dark beer.

Brisket should be cut across the grain on an angle.  They are excellent served cold on sandwiches, too!

Beef Brisket with Fruits and Sweet Potatoes (added 12/03)

Oven Brisket (added 1/04)

Beer Beef Brisket (added 1/04)

Brisket with Apricots (added 1/04)

Ginger Brisket with Beer and Fruit (added 1/04)

Fruity Glazed Beef Brisket (added 12/04)

 
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Beef Brisket with Fruits and Sweet Potatoes 
This brisket is rich, and somewhat sweet, but not cloyingly so.  The dish is best made ahead a day or two, so is perfect for an informal midweek company dinner or a family dish on a busy night.
1 tbsp vegetable oil 
2 large onions, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 1/2 to 3-pound beef brisket 
2 cups water 
3/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp ground black pepper 
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise 
1/2 cup dried prunes 
1/4 cup dried apricot halves
Cook onions and garlic over low heat in a large Dutch oven until golden; remove and set aside.  Brown brisket on all sides, then return onions to Dutch.  Add water, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 2-2 1/2 hours.  Add sweet potatoes and fruit.  Cover tightly and simmer another 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are just tender (donít overcook if you intend to reheat on another day; the sweet potatoes will get mushy).  Remove brisket and thinly slice it across the grain.  Layer the slices in a shallow casserole, then sweet potatoes and fruit on top.  Skim any fat, then puree the pan juices until smooth.  Pour over the fruit and sweet potatoes, cover tightly with plastic wrap and and refrigerate overnight.  Reheat the covered casserole the following day at 300°F for 45 minutes.
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Oven Brisket
Simple but with an unexpected richness from the coffee.
2 tbsp soy sauce 
1/2 c coffee -- black 
3 lb brisket 
1/2 c catsup 
1/2 c chili sauce 
1/2 c honey 
1/3 c Worchestershire sauce 
1 large clove garlic, minced 
In a large Dutch oven, brown meat on all sides. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over brisket. Cover and simmer on stove top or in a 300° oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender. To serve, slice on the diagonal.
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Beer Beef Brisket
Simple recipe creates a rich sauce while cooking that is excellent over wild or brown rice and topped with freshly chunked beefsteak tomatoes sprinkled with pepper.
2 ½ - 3 lb fresh beef brisket 
1/2 c diced onion 
1 tsp pepper 
¼ tsp garlic powder 
12 oz chili sauce 
12 oz beer 
Place beef brisket, fat side down, in deep roasting pan. Sprinkle brisket with onion, pepper and garlic powder. Pour chili sauce over brisket. Cover tightly and cook in slow oven (300°F) for 3 hours. Pour beer over brisket. Increase oven temperature to 350°F and continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes. 
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Brisket with Apricots
The apricots add a fruity touch and the cinnamon a bit of depth.
1 lb apricots dried 
4 c water 
2 onions minced 
3 lbs brisket 
2 tbsp oil 
1 ½ tsp salt 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
2 tbsp honey 
1 tsp cinnamon ground 
Wash the apricots and soak in the water for 1 hour.  Saute the onions in the oil; remove from pan with a slotted spoon.  Increase heat and sear the meat in the oil.  Add the salt, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and undrained apricots. Cover tightly and bake 3 hours at 300°F. 
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Ginger Brisket with Beer and Fruit
A different approach with apricots (we have apricot trees) and prunes.  The ginger provides a bit of zing while the fruit and marmalade a carmelized sweetness.
2 onions, diced 
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
2-3 lb beef brisket
20 oz beer 
1 cup dried apricots 
2 tbsp orange marmalade 
1 tbsp grated lemon peel 
¾ tsp ginger, ground 
½ tsp Worchestershire sauce 
1 c dried pitted prunes 
3 tbsp brown sugar firmly packed 
1/8 c lemon juice 
½ tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp ground black pepper 
Preheat oven to 300 ° F.  Sprinkle half of onions and garlic on bottom of baking dish to cover an area about the size of the brisket.  Set brisket and cover with remaining onion and garlic.  Roast about 3 hours.  Combine remainder of ingredients and bring to boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Spread mixture over brisket.  Cover and continue roasting 1 hour.  Let rest about 20 minutes.  Slice thin.  Serve on a platter with fruit and sauce.

Fruity Glazed Beef Brisket
This recipe allows you to do most of the cooking the day before.  The fruity apple glaze is sweet with a bit of tang. 
4 to 5 lbs boneless beef brisket
1 onion, quartered
4 lg. garlic cloves quartered
10 whole cloves
14 oz. jar apple jelly
1/2 c dry white wine
4 tbsp spicy brown mustard
4 tbsp minced green onions, including tops
1 garlic clover, finely minced
1 tsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1 tsp curry powder

In a large Dutch oven, lay brisket, onion, garlic, cloves, and enough water to just cover.  Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a low simmer.  Simmer gently for 3-4 hours.  Drain brisket and refrigerate in a covered dish until the next day.  For glaze, combine apple jelly, wine, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper and curry powder in small saucepan and heat gently until jelly melts.  Place brisket in shallow roasting pan, brush with glaze and roast in slow oven (225 degrees) about 1 hour, basting about every 15 minutes with.  Broil for a few minutes at the end to slightly caramelize glaze.  Place on a heated serving platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Slice thinly across the grain.  Brisket also may be cooked on charcoal grill for 30 minutes, basting often with glaze.