Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bar-B-Que Brisket: The Only Thing I Miss in Texas Other Than My Relatives (recipe follows)

You can take the girl out of Texas (and I have to be the happiest transplanted girl from Big D in all of Colorado); but you cannot take the Texan out of the girl. The pictures to the left are of Sonny Bryan's BBQ in Texas and still remains the home of the best brisket I've ever had. Without hesitation, my favorite place to dine as a young girl from Arlington, Texas was Red Bryan's (Sonny's Dad).

I don't have the smoker or talent for making BBQ like Red's or Sonny's but as a home cook with a strong will and an oven, I've created a brisket that has certainly impressed every Denverite I've served.

Every time I make this brisket, I feel like I've wrestled a steer and wonder, "Is this worth it?" But there's nothing I make that seems to make people happier or garners more requests for the recipe. It is, as my kinfolks from Texas say, "so good you might slap your brains out lickin' your lips."

(This recipe is also gluten free as I had a friend over tonight who can't handle even a smidget of gluten, so I did my research. But I am not saying it is, by any stretch of the imagination, a health food.)

You'll need to start the process the night before. You can serve it for lunch or dinner the next day. (Warning: I'm going to dictate this recipe as if you were sitting across from me at my kitchen table. Not as if I am writing this for Southern Living Magazine.)

First, purchase the biggest brisket you can find -- big enough to take up your largest turkey roasting or family reunion lasagna pan! Unfortunately, last night I had to buy my brisket untrimmed and it cost me about 10 minutes, a large serrated knife and one good nick to the knuckle to get the fat trimmed down. You want to leave some fat (about 1/4 inch); but good grief, I think I cut 2 inches of fat off some of the corners of that hunk of cow!

Next: Sprinkle all over with Tony's Cajun Seasoning (or salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder)

Stuff it into a Large Reynold's Oven Bag (you may need a turkey size bag!), then put a cup of water, 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's bar-b-que sauce and 1 envelope dry Lipton onion soup mix in to the bag as well.

Tie up the bag, squish the sauce around the brisket, then lay it all in your biggest pan. I don't poke a hole in the bag because that way the juices stay in. I've yet to have a bag blow up in the oven. (But write me if this should happen to you and I'll blog about it.)

Last one to bed, put the brisket in the oven at 275 degrees.

First one up, take it out in the morning. Let sit until it is warm enough to handle.

Place on cutting board (if too big, you can cut it in half, and slice it up one half at a time)

Trim warm brisket of extra fat, and using an electric knife cut the brisket in about 1/2 inch slices across the grain. Some of it may be too tender to hold up to slices, so just pile that meat up as "chopped beef" in a small pan, lay the rest of the slices in a clean, big oblong pan. (I like pyrex at this point.)

Taste the beef and if it needs seasoning, sprinkle with a little more Tony's.

At this point you can cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

About 30 minutes before serving, heat up:

1 & 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

1/4 c Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

1 T. Colgin liquid smoke

1/4 - 1/2 c. water to thin (so it will pour easily)

Pour over pan of sliced brisket. Cover all with foil.

Heat until piping hot at 350.

Serve and watch the smiles. I served this tonight and I think everyone went back for seconds!

It also makes wonderful "mini sandwiches" using Sister Schubert's rolls (which are now available in the freezer dept our local Sam's Club) or deli bought potato roles.

Pat yourself on the back!
And if you are ever in Dallas Texas, do stop by Sonny Bryan's for a meal. You can thank me later.

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