Monday, July 5, 2010

Brisket success!

Yesterday evening we had some people over to eat our smallish brisket. It was only six pounds and for all the work I think that if I was going to do that again I would defiantly buy more brisket to cook all at once. I went to Costco to get the brisket and it was the biggest one they had. I think you might be able to get a full one from a butcher on special order, but that usually takes about two weeks and not two days of planning. I would think it would be better to get a brisket from a grass fed cow, as it's a strongly flavored piece of meat. All that connective tissue - the flavor would stand out better if your cow was grass fed. But on the other hand if you're going to get a brisket and you need one now, Costco or Cash and Carry have them, but I would still recommended that you get at lease 15 lbs of brisket. We had ten people over and there is only a tiny little bit of brisket left, not really enough for more than a couple sandwiches. Which is fine; but for all that work it would be nice to have something more left. Ahh well live and learn that making brisket is more time consuming than you thought. If you do take my suggestion and make a lot of brisket at once the leftovers could be pulled, mixed with BBQ sauce and then frozen in individual sandwich size servings.

Part of the reason we had anything left at all is because I made sure to make lots of other food. I did make my friend-famous baked beans, a green salad and I made up some quick bread. I was going to make corn bread but I didn't have enough corn meal, so I mixed in what I had and used Malt-O-Meal to make a good grainy bread. A couple friends brought over some corn and kebabs and others brought chips so there was plenty to eat. I also made up some strawberry shortcakes with berries from my mom's berry patch and whipped some cream from the Golden Glen Creamery.

I am going to give you the baked bean recipe. You can look up how to cook briskets, and I mostly followed the directions from The Joy of Cooking. They have a whole section on how to smoke a brisket, and well you must know where the internet is. I used the peppery rub and made a basic mop from Strongbow cider and raw apple cider vinegar. You can figure it out, I believe in you.


1 pound organic white great northern beans
2/3 C. organic molasses
1/2 C. organic ketchup
2 Tbs. mustard
1 Tbs. garam masala
1 chopped onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 smoked organic ham hock
organic Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Peppery Rub mixture (see Joy of Cooking)
organic chicken stock


Rinse and pick over the beans. Put them in a big bowl of water and let them set over night. The next day pour off the water and rinse your beans. Place in a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Simmer for one hour, or until the beans are tender, but not super soft. Strain your beans.

When you buy your ham hock ask the butcher to slice it for you, or you will have to cook your beans a lot longer. Put the ham hock in the crock pot and then cover with everything else. Stir well but be sure that the hock is covered. Cook on low for around 5 hours. Pick out the ham hock pieces and let them cool on a plate for a few mintues. With two forks shred the hock meat, compost any bones, skin and fat chunks. Return the meat to the beans and taste them. Check for final seasoning and keep warm until you are going to serve them.

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