Our column Deconstructing the Dish appears monthly in Nfocus Magazine and we include it here for our cheaterchef.com readers.
If you’re devouring the January 2016 Nfocus Magazine bridal issue and planning a walk down the aisle yourself, we offer you a simple recipe, Oven Smoked Brisket, as a wedding gift.
Oven Smoked Brisket will serve you for a lifetime of celebrations. You’ll make this for the in-laws, for dinner with the boss, for bowl game parties, soccer banquets, graduations and holidays. It’s that good. We’re not talking Texas barbecue trail brisket. Leave the outdoor complications to the backyard smoker types. This is a make-it-anytime magical cross between outdoor smoked brisket and indoor Jewish grandmother brisket.
Beef brisket has been equally at home in Austin and New York City for generations, so now make it your own Nashville tradition. This flavorful cut doesn’t need much of your attention, just steady, low moist heat and plenty of time for the connective tissue to break down and become tender. Think roast, not steak.
All you have to do is scatter onions on a big sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the brisket over them. Salt and pepper generously and pour on the liquid smoke. Wrap the brisket and stick it in the oven—even over night. What you’ll get is a tender, smoky brisket big on the umami. It will fit in with almost any kind of meal according to your occasion and side dishes.
Smoked Oven Brisket doesn’t provide the coveted barbecue smoke ring, but Jewish grandmothers don’t care about a smoke ring and neither will you when you make this. Don’t be reluctant to use liquid smoke. It’s a great all-natural product that adds a gentle richness and smoky aroma without being too bitter or distracting. The ¼ cup amount may seem like too much, but that large cut of beef can handle it. You will not be overwhelmed or disappointed with this useful ingredient.
Find liquid smoke near the hot sauces section, usually on or near the top shelf. Colgin is the most popular brand in this market (for brisket we suggest the hickory over the mesquite blend). For more on liquid smoke visit our page The Straight Scoop About Liquid Smoke.
Cheater Chef Brisket Tips:
For oven smoking we like the whole flat (5 to 7 pound) brisket (the one without the big “nose” which is about 15 pounds). You’ll find them cryovaced at Kroger, Publix, Sam’s and Costco. Pass on the overly trimmed smaller cuts. Brisket needs a fat layer to help tenderize the meat as it cooks.
Cook the brisket a day or two ahead and remove and reserve the meat juices and refrigerate. Cold brisket slices more neatly and the meat juices can be stripped of excess fat before they are poured over the meat before warming. Slice the cold brisket against the grain of the meat into about ¼-inch slices and lay them in a roasting pan. Pour the juices over the sliced meat, cover lightly with foil and place in a 325°F oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes.
If you are lucky enough to have any leftover, use chopped brisket in chili, tacos or in a breakfast hash with potatoes, onions and peppers.
P.S. For another great homey-but-fancy dinner with the in-laws, try our Creamy Chicken with Parmesan Biscuit Dumplings from our January 2012 Nfocus Magazine column, Meet the Parents.