June 7, 2014
Barbecued Beef Brisket
Quick Boston Beans
For most of the dinners that I write about there is at least one dish which is new to us. Not this week, though, there are no new recipes in this meal. Sometimes you find something that you like and it just needs to be repeated. I have made, and written about, both the Brisket and the Beans.
Every summer I will barbecue one or two large pieces of meat. These will make a generous meal for 2 (or 3) with a lot of leftovers. Brisket is one of these where it is worth getting a large piece of meat and cooking it over a long period of time. (The other is a pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches.) This year we would have some help eating the brisket as Caleb and Karley were in town to visit for a few days and so could help with the leftovers.
I purchased a six-pound brisket, flat cut. Preparing it for dinner took about eight hours, though most of that is hands off. The fat cap is scored and the brisket is brined in a solution of salt and sugar for two hours. (I have to use the largest mixing bowl that I own.) The meat is dried and a rub of salt, pepper, and sugar is applied. It is then smoked on the gas grill for three hours using an aluminum foil packet of hickory chips to generate smoke. Finally, it is roasted in the oven for another three hours or so until reaching 195°. After a 30-minute rest it is ready to slice, serve, and eat. The resulting meat was tender, juicy, and packed with flavor from the smoke, salt, and pepper. The end pieces were perhaps a little too salty but even Diane didn't complain (perhaps because the horseradish she slathered on the beef masked the salty ends.) Diane noted that she enjoyed the sweet sauce from the beans on the brisket.
To accompany the barbecued beef I made some Boston Beans using the America's Test Kitchen recipe from their Quick Family Cookbook which used canned rather than dry beans. We had plenty of raw vegetables so I served a crisp, fresh crudité with carrots, radishes, celery, cucumber; some of these came from our monthly CSA produce box. A glass of our every day red wine completed the dinner.
We had several meals with the leftover barbecued chicken which I had disparaged last week. The main complaint was that the sauce was too spicy. As time heals all wounds, it apparently also tempers hot sauces. The leftover chicken was better, due to the less spicy sauce, than it had been originally. Diane reheated it in the oven after adding some more sauce to the chicken. It was not as moist as when it was fresh but it was fine, certainly not dried out.
The tender brisket made excellent sandwiches which we had with Caleb and Karley as part of a picnic lunch while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.