Saturday, July 4, 2009

The STAR in (the) Lone Star STATE? It is the BRISKET!

Yes. It is. According to Wikpedia this is the part of the body that cows lie on, and it is not considered by any means a premium cut of beef (main part of what goes into corned beef). Well, inspired by an article in the latest Saveur magazine devoted to everything Texan, I decided to tackle one of these babies on a medium sized Weber kettle. You see, I have had brisket from the BEST in Texas (Kreuz, Blacks, Smitty's, Cooper's in Llano,...) and so, I know (kind of) what the brisket is supposed to look, feel, and taste like: soft, juicy, really juicy, caramelized on the outside, really lean on the bite, and boy oh so smokey. That is the taste I always remember. The smoke.
Well, I did what I am told: prepared a simple rub and laid it gently on an otherwise unattractive flat piece of meat - about 5 lbs of mangled tendon and fat. I started the next morning and followed the recipe verbatum (with major problems trying to contain the heat in the 250 range - it kept cropping to 300).

Well, it was BEAUTIFUL: Nice smoke ring, juicy and delicious (although a bit salty). I really enjoyed the whole process though. See, "cooking" a brisket is an 8-10 hour process of hands off love so to speak: peaking is not allowed, but you do it, touching, smelling, feeling the temperature are all part of the cooking. Also, just sitting outside on a beautiful day with your Weber billowing in the vicinity, a beer in hand and a nice book. This is cowboy Texan life at its best. And as they say down there, do NOT mess with Texas!

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