A Tisket, A Tasket, A Brisket In My Basket

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

I grew up with a meat cutter in the house.  So you’d think I might have picked up a nugget or two about cuts of beef and how to make the most of them.  Sadly, you’d be wrong.  I can’t tell a porterhouse from a t-bone (actually, these two are pretty similar according to the pdf chart put up by these folks, so I’m going to give myself a pass on that one) or a skirt steak from a bottom round.  I have even been known to pull out my smartphone in the grocery store to try and find substitutes when I can’t find the cut of beef specified in a recipe on the week’s menu.  So I thought I was on easy street when I decided to make Deb’s Southwestern Pulled Brisket because it seemed like I was always seeing brisket in the meat case.  Until I went to look for it that is.  And then it was nowhere to be found.  Not at Bloom or Safeway or Harris Teeter.  Was this some brisket conspiracy by the beef lobbyists?  Finally, I spied a lone brisket at Giant which was good because the internet connection on the Pre sucks in that store and I refused to go to yet another place in search of a cut of brisket.  Actually, Costco had huge briskets in the meat case but I’ve got neither the storage space nor the appetite for $30 of brisket.

Anyhow, brisket in hand, I came home and imagined that The Mistah and I were in for some good eating the next day.  Sadly, I was wrong.  Well, not exactly wrong.  But not exactly right either.  It’s kind of a gray area.  See, Deb’s brisket recipe is a busy home cook’s dream because it puts the slow cooker to work.  A tough cut like brisket needs long, low cooking in order to make it tender and delicious.  So while I knew it would take a while, like all day, I didn’t expect to be eating dinner at 11pm.  Because even though I got a bit of late start on this particular project, my brisket took not 8 hours, not 10 hours, but 12 hours to cook.

It wasn’t until the next day, after we lunched on the brisket, that I spied that The View From The 32nd Floor had an alternate take on Deb’s brisket that did not suck 12 hours from her life.  If only my time machine were working and I could go back just one day….brisket and I might not have gone to bed mad.

Please visit Smitten Kitchen or The View From for the full recipe.  It’s what I worked from…but I will suggest that you taste your liquid for seasoning and heat as you go.  I didn’t but if I had I probably would have decided that the liquid was firey enough without the canned chipotle pepper.  After some corrective measures involving honey and salt, I tamed the heat to a level that my whimpy taste buds could tolerate.

5 thoughts on “A Tisket, A Tasket, A Brisket In My Basket

  1. Unpredictability of cooking time is the only bad thing about slow cookers. Like ovens, they can run hot or cold, but unlike an oven, since you’re slow cooking, a cold cooker can mean a lot LONGER cook time. I’m sorry to hear this didn’t turn out better. I’m sure Noel would love if I cooked any kind of brisket (or beef actually), even if we did have it at 11pm. But no beef for over 10 years, and now I’m almost scared of it!

  2. LOL! coming from chicago as I do, there is not a time in history when at least one of my relatives was not interacting with meat of some kind!

    Not much of that rubbed off on me either, but my grandfather had a farm and did his own butchering. You never knew when you went for Sunday dinner WHOM you were eating!

    BTW I can still break down a chicken in about 7 minutes if I try! I remember the day Mommy came in while poppy was dismembering a chicken and he chased her around the barn with a lone chicken foot yelling CLUCK CLUCK! I kid you not!

    I do know that the t-bone is a combination of the New York strip and the little round piece under the t is filet……

    Now about brisket……..Ihave found it plentiful here BUT you must know that Texas must be the brisket capital of the world…….brisket slathered with some kind of yummy sauce, coleslaw and beans is a staple here I plan to buy pants with elastic waists from now on ( NOT!)LOL

    but when I do not see brisket ( or any other kind of cut I want in the case) I ring the bell and ask the butcher person if he can hook me up. this is the megamart.

    Find me a real butchershop and I don’t even get a funny look when I ask! Of course there are a bunch of them here.

  3. The best brisket for my bland-lovin’ taste buds and lazy bones is the one involving a packet of onion soup mix and a jar of mushrooms. Dump it in the slow cooker with a quarter or a half or a cup of water and make yourself some sandwiches – because I usually think of the slow cooker around 5 PM. But the next night? Yum.

    1. J, so now I have a craving for your version of brisket. Because how else can I justify the guilty pleasure that is onion soup mix?

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