A while back (well, back in March), David bought a brisket on sale at the store, and I promptly threw it into the deep freezer. I was digging in there this week, looking for the homemade cranberry to use for Cranberry Chicken Bake when I found the brisket on the very bottom. I decided I'd better make it before it started to get freezer burn.
Once the brisket was thawed, I saw that all the fat had been trimmed away. I've made briskets before, and you really need to have the big cap of fat on it. The fat is pretty unattractive, but it adds flavor and moisture to the brisket while it bakes. And you can just cut it off before you call everyone to the table.
Ree Drummond, "The Pioneer Woman" has a brisket recipe I want to try sometime. She leaves the fat cap on too, and her method is almost the same as mine. My recipe is from my MIL, and it's as easy as pie.
So we'll just pretend this poor side of beef has the fat still on it, and doesn't look like the butcher got a little too carried away. This brisket really doesn't have that soft, triangular shape I'm used to seeing...maybe the butcher was having a bad day?
I had a whole mess of orange and red peppers from the garden that needed to be used up, so I decided to cut 'em up and put them on top of the brisket while it baked. I do this with ribs sometimes, so I figured it wouldn't be an injustice to try it with brisket.
Fat cap on or off, peppers and onions or not, let's cook this big boy, shall we?
Oven Baked Beef Brisket
1 large beef brisket, 5-7 pounds (it really depends on how big the crowd is)
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
1 (4 ounce bottle) liquid smoke (I used a mesquite flavor)
1 tablespoon each onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and celery salt
Lay out the brisket on one sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure the foil is big enough to enclose the brisket. Sprinkle both sides with the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and celery salt. I used a smoked paprika...regular sweet paprika is just fine.
Line a 9x13 pan with another sheet of aluminum foil. Carefully place the brisket and the foil sheet underneath it into the pan. You'll see I have one sheet of foil laying horizontal, and one vertical.
Pour over the worchestershire sauce and the liquid smoke. If you've got 'em, place the peppers and onions over the brisket. Otherwise, just wrap the brisket tightly using the aluminum foil. Crimp the edges really well; we don't want anything to leak out.
Bake the brisket at 350 degrees for one hour. Then turn the temperature down to 250 degrees and bake the brisket for an additional hour per pound. My brisket was 4.98 pounds, so I baked mine for about 6 hours. I checked it after 5.5 hours, and saw that it was done, so the last 1/2 hour I just turned the temp down to 200 to keep it warm.
Let the meat stand for about 10-15 minutes before serving. Grab a big cutting board...this get a bit messy.
Take a portion of the meat (it should be very tender, and fall apart when you try to cut it), and either shred or cut into slices against the grain. I sliced some for David and I and shredded some for the kids.
Serve with the pan juices, and peppers and onions (if you had 'em). I made some baked beans and corn-on-the-cob on the side. David loves his brisket with barbeque sauce.
Since it's Labor Day weekend, I hope you go get a nice big slab of beef and try this recipe. It's easy and foolproof. That's the best thing about brisket...it's hard to mess up. Just throw it in the oven and bake until it gives up ;-).