A Brisket, A Basket

29 Jun

brisket take 2The skillful Stampede-goer knows the perfect late night snack for post-chuckwagon races and Cowboys closer.

And it’s not pizza.

These miniature brisket buns are divine. In anticipation of many late nights, we cooked a huge brisket in advance, sliced it, packaged it into portions, and armed ourselves with pillowy parkerhouse rolls. We popped everything into the freezer so they can be set out to thaw by the time you roll in with your bleary eyes and barking dogs. A hot summer night with friends on the patio, fireworks in the sky, cold beer nightcap and a mini beef bun. Cheers — it’s another perfect Stampede night.

Stampede Brisket
Recipe from President’s Choice

1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil 
2 lb (1 kg) onions, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup (125 mL) PC Smokin’ Stampede Beer & Chipotle Barbecue Sauce **
1  beef brisket, about 5 lb (2.2 kg)
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) beef broth 
1/2 cup (125 mL) crushed tomatoes 
1 bottle (341 mL) beer
1  bay leaf
 

(This baby is as saucy as we are. We strained the liquid into a mason jar and used it as au jus for dipping our buns. But any other time of year we would serve this with mashed potatoes. True story.)

(** The label on PC Smokin’ Stampede Beer & Chipotle Barbecue Sauce says it’s made with honey red beer, bourbon, chipotle peppers and dark coffee. Although we usually prefer to concoct our sauces from scratch, this is dynamite. Good heat and not too sweet).
Add broth, beer, and tomato sauce and bay leaf to slow cooker to heat up while you prepare onions and beef.
In large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of oil over medium heat. Stir in onions. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until deep golden brown. Reduce heat if onions start to scorch, and feel free to add liquid to keep them moist (beer or tomato juice). Make sure pan is deglazed and add onions to slow cooker, scraping all the juices with them.
In clean large frying pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle brisket on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. If brisket is too large to fit in your frying pan, cut it in half crosswise (across the grain) and brown each piece separately. Transfer to slow cooker. Deglaze pan so you can add drippings to slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker and let cook for 8 hours on low setting.

After 8 hours (note: we reduced our cooking time because our slow cooker is an overachiever), transfer brisket to cutting board, leaving sauce in slow cooker. Discard bay leaf and skim fat from top of sauce. Slice brisket across the grain into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Return sliced brisket to slow cooker. Serve hot, with mashed potatoes if desired.

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