Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grilling tough brisket or shoulder cuts

The leanest cuts are also the healthiest cuts are also the cheapest cuts! So, what to do when you like your steaks juicy and flavorful? Well, you can follow the directions for flank steak, which involves cutting across the grain and very thin, but there’s even more you can do to make a thick but not-so-juicy piece of beef just delicious: crock pot cook it first, and slather it in a delicious sauce! :-)

Step one is to always plan to have these cuts of meat on a day that you can set up the crock pot early. Or you can even do the crock pot part a day or so ahead (great make-ahead meal!). I’ve found that 4 to 6 hours on a low setting works best. You want to break down the fibers enough with long slow cooking, but not enough to make the piece of meat fall apart on the grill. Not a lot of chance of that happening with a shoulder cut, but you can never be sure!

When you’re ready to start grilling, it will take 5 to 10 minutes per side, depending upon whether or not it’s been sitting in the fridge for awhile. Cook it on a medium heat grill and just get a nice little char on it. Otherwise, there’s really no point in grilling, since you’ve already thoroughly cooked the meat!

Slice it thin, just like you would a flank steak, and slather it with a great homemade barbecue sauce that you’ve mixed up in the crock pot (how efficient is that?). Here’s a great recipe for brisket that we had the other night. I added a small green salad and some bread to sop it up!

Beef Brisket with Barbecue Sauce

2 lb beef brisket
Large onion, sliced into really thin circles
Large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 c water
Salt and pepper
14 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes

Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot with the brisket on top. Mix the water through the tomatoes together and pour over the brisket. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the meat, scraping off the vegetables and either store it in the fridge for grilling later or place it directly on the grill. Prepare the barbecue sauce in the crock pot using the recipe below.

Barbecue Sauce

3/4 cup of the brisket cooking liquid
1 c ketchup
1/3 c molasses
2 T cider vinegar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Pour out the liquid from the crock pot into a large measuring cup, leaving the vegetables behind. Pour 3/4 c of the liquid back into the crock pot, and save the rest in the freezer for another batch of sauce later. Mix the ketchup through cayenne pepper together and stir into the crock pot mixture. Heat on low until time to serve. Slather it over the cut meat on each plate.

Image: MorgueFile

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