National Brisket Day and I make it two ways

Recently Pamela came back from shopping with some of the few meat products available and one was a brisket. It was more than 7 pounds and I immediately knew I wanted to split it in two and make it two different ways. Please pardon the poor photographs because I was so eager to dig in that I didn’t take any time to get them right. First I wanted to braise the first half, using this recipe.

Beer-Braised Brisket with Onions


  • 1 3 1/2-4 lb boneless beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise (6 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 12 oz bottle beer (not dark)
  • 1 dried porcini boullion cube or beef boullion cube, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Pat brisket dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 6 to 8 quart wide heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to a platter.
  3. Cook onions with bay leaf in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occassionally, until golden, 10 or 12 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer half of the onions to a bowl. Arrange brisket over onions in pot, then top with remaining onions. Add beer, boullion cube, and vinegar (liquid should come up about halfway up sides of meat) and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover pot and braise in middle of oven until meat is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Cool in sauce, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer brisket to a clean cutting board. Skim off any fat from sauce, then season with salt and pepper. Slice meat across the grain and serve with sauce.
  6. Brisket improves in flavor if braised 2 days ahead. Cool in sauce, uncovered, then chill, surface covered with parchment paper or wax paper and pot covered with lid. Remove any solidified fat before reheating. Slice cold meat across the grain and reheat in oven with sauce in a shallow baking pan, covered, 45 minutes.


It was delicious. I recommend you allow for more beer depending on the size of your pan.

The second half I put into my stove top Camerons smoker after seasoning with salt and pepper and letting it set overnight in the refrigerator. I used apple wood chips and smoked it on the top of the stove for about 30 minutes. I transferred it to a 275 degree oven for about four and a half hours. It came out tender, delicious and tasty.

Gonna try that (both of them) again soon. Get yourself some brisket on this national day and cook it low and slow. You won’t be sorry!

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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