Sweet & Savory Maple Whiskey Beef Brisket 

 

Brisket; the most delicious of meats. I am relatively new to the preparation of brisket, but I am not new to loving it. I just don’t want to have to go out to a restaurant every time I want to enjoy it, which is basically all the time. So, I had to start figuring out ways to cook it. There are a multitude of ways to prepare brisket and it is hard to figure out what is the best way, but this cut of meat is hard to screw up, so you just need to find what works for you. I started out using spicy dry rubs, but wanted something more savory, so I got some ideas from the interwebs and did some experimenting, and the result was this delicious recipe. In this picture I served it over my creamy cauliflower rice (recipe here) and with a side of green beans with butter and hemp hearts.

The few times I have made this, I used a 3lb brisket in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, but the marinade makes enough that you could use a larger cut, maybe 4 – 6 lb. Also, I have not yet attempted to sear my brisket prior to cooking it, but instead I have removed the foil covering with about a half hour left of cooking time and that browned the outside of the brisket, though browning it before roasting is probably a good idea, so none of the moisture escapes. I plan to try that next time I make it and will provide an update. According to Martha Stewart, you can sear a brisket on your stove top by putting the brisket and a bit of oil in a roasting pan over two burners and searing each side.  No matter which way you cook it, this marinade will blow you away!

MARINADE RECIPE

In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the following ingredients:

1 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Cup of Whiskey (I used Jack Daniel’s because that’s what I had on hand.)

1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup of Dijon Mustard

1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Aminos

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce ( I know, not paleo, so I am going to try leaving this out next time and upping the coconut aminos to see if there is a discernible difference.)

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

A few dashes of Cayenne Pepper

PREPARE THE BRISKET 

Scour both sides of your brisket and generously salt and pepper both sides;

Place the brisket in a 9 x 13 inch roasting/baking dish, fat side down;

Pour the marinade over the brisket to cover and lift up the sides of the meat a bit to make sure the marinade gets all the way underneath. Make sure to leave a bit of room in the pan for the juices that are released during cooking so you won’t end up with spillage during cooking. If you have left over marinade, then set that aside for later.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Flip the brisket half way through the marinating time.

When you are ready, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Before placing your brisket in the oven, make sure the brisket is set with the fat side (fat cap) on top, and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Cook the brisket for 3 hours covered, and then for a half hour uncovered. Uncovering it is optional, as I realize that uncovering it might lead to less juiciness.

Total cooking time for me was 3 1/2 hours, though as with everything I cook, I just look at the food to see. I am very hands on and since it’s not baking I think there is room for flexibility on cooking time here, as ovens and preferences vary. It’s not a thick cut of meat, so it does cook evenly. As I mentioned above,  brisket is so delicious it’s hard to screw up, but cooking low and slow is the one consistent instruction out there.

Once the meat is cooked, pour the juice/marinade from the pan into a sauce pan and add in any leftover marinade you had put aside.  Leave the meat in the pan and tent with the foil so the meat can rest and cool before slicing. This is important because it gives the collagen and fat in the meat a chance to thicken as it cools, so it won’t just run out of the meat the second you slice it.

Bring the marinade mixture to a boil and then turn down to simmer, uncovered. You will want to stir this occasionally and cook long enough to reduce down to a thicker sauce. This will keep you occupied while your meat is resting. I know how hard it is to resist slicing!

Once you’ve reduced the marinade and you’ve given the meat some time to cool, slice the brisket. I know there are a lot of opinions on the proper slicing technique, but I am not that advanced. My briskets have only been smaller cuts, but I have cut mine both with the grain, and against the grain (on the bias) and I think it came out better on the bias.

Once it is sliced and in the dish in which you plan to serve it, pour the reduced marinade sauce over the meat and if there is enough save some extra for use later or on whatever sides you may have prepared.

Prepare to stuff your face. Enjoy!

 

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