A Meaty Business
Pulled pork is a menu favourite. With sales rising 19% between April and June last year according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), it’s clear the trend for American gastro is here to stay. But now, shredded pork has a rival: beef brisket.
This traditional cut may have been around for ages, but thanks to our appetite for US-style smokehouse BBQ meats, it is smoking hot right now. Cost effective, it is a meat that can be left to slow-cook with little fuss and easily reheated making it a perfect option for all menus.
“Beef brisket is a go-to meat for many chefs because it is cheap and tasty, and a good cut that can be used in many different ways,” explains James Hudson, head chef at the White Hart, a Young’s country pub in Sherfield-on-Loddon, Hampshire. “We’re constantly finding new ways to cook and serve it – and it always sells out. That’s the appeal of brisket; taking an old cut and making it new.”
How to cook
The natural fat in beef brisket makes it ideal for slow cooking in an oven, barbecue or smoker. It takes a bit of work, but cooked right, the texture and flavour are worth the effort. “It is quite a tough cut and needs a lot of cooking and care. How easy it is to cook will depend on what you plan to use it for,” adds James. “But it is definitely a cut of meat that you cannot rush. Low temperatures and slow cooking are a must. If it’s cooked too quickly or at too high a temperature, you’ll be found out!”
• Corn bread
• Brioche rolls
• Onion rings
• Pickles – fried pickles
• Corn cobs
• Boston-style beans
• Mac and cheese
• Steamed greens
- Use some of the cooking liquor to add to baked beans along with some fried smoky bacon and onions for a ‘Boston-style’ beans dish.
- Towards the end of the cooking, uncover the meat and brush with BBQ sauce. Repeat this process as many times as you wish.
- For a true authentic American smoke-house experience try smoking low and slow over a mix of charcoal and wood for anything up to 15 hours, depending on the size of the cut.
- Perfect served with BBQ sauce for a classic American dish or for a smoke-house style meat platter serve in brioche rolls with slaw and pickles.