Anytime you’ve got family in town and you need a big meal that can fill up a lot of people, you should immediately think about the big meats, like pulled pork and beef brisket! I know sometimes a huge brisket may seem intimidating, but it’s really a lot easier than you think. Today, read on for some of my tips and tricks to the perfect, moist beef brisket that absolutely can (and should) grace your dining table this Christmas. Your guests will love it!
First some tips on choosing your meat: I got my big ol’ slab of beef at Fanestils Meats in Emporia. This big guy is called a packer brisket and comes all together with the flat (botton squareish part) and and point (the top triangle) in one large piece. Now, normally if you went to the grocery store you would choose either/or. If you must choose, the less fatty “flat” is a good place to start for brisket, while the fattier “point” is great for beef tips.
Secondly, whether you roast it in the oven or cook it in the pressure cooker, this fat layer helps to lock in moisture to keep your brisket perfectly fork tender! But particularly if you’re cooking it in the oven, be sure this side is facing UP.
I hope you love my recipe (below). Be sure to read through the whole thing at least once before you start cooking. There are some extra steps and timelines that will be important for getting the best flavor out of your investment.
1 Fanestil beef brisket, 9-10 lbs (cut in half so both halves will fit vertically into 10 qt pressure cooker, side by side)
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with oil; add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, add remaining ingredients, whisking until all ingredients are well incorporated; let cool.
When marinade has cooled completely, place into a 2 gallon zip-lock freezer bag and add brisket halves, then seal bag and let brisket marinate for 24 hours. (I place my bag into a large tray in case there’s any accidental leaks.)
When ready to prepare brisket, place 2 cups broth into pot of a 10 quart electric pressure cooker, then add trivet. Meanwhile, remove brisket from marinade and place both halves vertically into pressure cooker, letting them lean on each other or the sides of the pressure cooker pot. Reserve marinade in bag to use as a serving sauce later! (See directions below)
Lock pressure cooker lid into place and choose high setting for 95 minutes. When timer sounds, use a nice long natural release to remove all pressure from pressure cooker, allowing brisket to rest and relax during this time. (**Test brisket halves with a fork to be sure they are fully tender. If you find any resistance when inserting a fork into any part of each brisket, pressure cook again for an additional 20-25 minutes, again with a full natural release.)
Remove brisket from pressure cooker to a cutting board. (Reserve some of the cooking juices for use later.) Trim fat from briskets, then let them cool a bit before placing brisket halves into the fridge to thoroughly chill. Place marinade from marinating bag into a saucepan and bring to a full boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes. Let cool, then chill sauce in fridge with brisket.
When brisket is fully chilled, place onto cutting board, making certain to slice ACROSS the brisket grain into serving slices. (Brisket can be sliced while warm, but is MUCH easier to slice once chilled.)
Place brisket slices into a large serving dish, layering one slice upon the next, then add reserved cooking juices (or add some warm broth) and reheat brisket in a 325 degree F oven, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until hot throughout. Serve sliced brisket drizzled with warmed sauce.
**If cooking a smaller brisket, say a brisket flat that weights 4-5 lbs., cook in pressure cooker on High setting for 60 minutes with a full natural release to let brisket relax. Brisket must be very fork tender when tested. If it’s not, return to pressure cooker under high pressure for an additional 10 minutes, again followed by a natural release.
Place large marinated brisket into a large roasting pan, fat side up. Cover roaster and bake in a preheated 250 degree F oven for 8-10 hours, depending on size of brisket. Brisket should be very fork-tender when a fork is inserted as a test. If there is ANY resistance when testing with a fork, continue to bake in the oven until very fork-tender. To slice and finish with sauce, follow directions above.
Now You’re Cookin’,
**This recipe was featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News, December 2016. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible!