Brisket – best pot roast for cooler climates

Now the weather has a little chill in the air my thoughts have turned to some Autumnal cooking and comfort recipes.

One of my favourite methods is pot roasting and the best cut of beef in my opinion, for a sumptuous result, is Brisket.

This comes from the front of the animal; it’s the lower part of the breast, so it’s responsible for helping to hold the animal up and therefore is always working.  This means the muscle will be tougher and have more connective tissue and collagen fibres, but this is a good thing when we are slow cooking. This connective tissue acts as a self-basting element and adds that gelatinous mouth feel and significant flavour.

Brisket is a fat cut of meat, but your local butcher can work some serious magic on these beauties.

I believe it’s best boned, it can be cooked flat, and indeed is the way the traditional Jewish salt beef, or the Texan style smoked Brisket is served. Check out DJ BBQ’s stonking recipe on FoodTube. Also the extremely tasty pastrami is done this way too.

However I like to have mine, boned and rolled, it make the joint a bit easier to handle. So let’s turn this joint into a thing of wonder.

I like to brown my joint, and always look to add flavour add every opportunity, so do this in dripping, you could go for a healthier option. Don’t forget to do the ends too. This gives us great colour and flavour through the caramelisation. When you have achieved the desired sear/crust, remove the brisket, now deglaze the pan, scraping all the marmitey crusty bits off the bottom with a splash of liquid of your choice, stock, beer, or wine, whatever you fancy. Now add some veggies, onions, carrots, celery, squash, the varieties are endless. Don’t forget some herbs, bay leaf, and thyme work for me. Now return the Brisket to the pan and top the liquid up to about half way on the joint. Bring it to a blipping boil, cover, turn down and cook low and slow for 4-6 hours. It’s gotta be served with some creamy mash for my idea of heaven.


Steve West

About the author

Steve is a butcher at Jamie's Barbecoa restaurant in central London, and our resident meat expert.
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