As my adventures in grilling/smoking continue, I finally took the plunge and bought a brisket. It was a little bit intimidating, because it's a big chunk of meat and if it doesn't go well, you've wasted a lot of money and time. I did what I usually do in these situations, and read everything Amazing Ribs has to say about preparation and cooking. I used their Big Bad Beef Rub, their cooking and temperature suggestions, etc. And the brisket came out amazingly good. For some reason, the only picture I have of the actual end result of the brisket is from my phone, but here it is:
As anyone who has smoked a brisket or seen one prepared knows, though, they are not uniform in thickness/width. At all. Luckily, I had also read about this, and the general consensus seemed to be that preparing "burnt ends" was almost as much a part of making brisket as having a brisket sandwich. Essentially, you cut the edges off to make the brisket nice and evenly rectangular, and use the parts that look burnt to make a delicious other dish. These other parts aren't actually burnt at all, if you cooked the brisket right. They're full of flavorful bark from the rub and the long slow smoking process. I had never had burnt ends before, but just reading about it made me drool. After the fact, I've looked at pictures of other people's burnt ends and realized that I chopped my pieces of brisket up a little small. It was amazingly good though, so I figured I'd share my recipe, such as it is.
Brisket Burnt Ends
- Edges from a smoked brisket, chopped
- 1 medium chunk of brisket fat
- 1 Tablespoon honey (optional, see notes)
- Texas Barbecue Juice (see notes)
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons American chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 Tablespoon of butter or rendered fat from brisket
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup Lone Star beer (or any other lager)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tablespoons steak sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Hot sauce to taste (start with 2 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce for mild heat)
- 2 cups beef, veal, or chicken stock
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter or fat over medium heat and saute onion until translucent.
- Add garlic, bell pepper, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Stir and cook for two minutes.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients. Stir until well blended. Simmer on medium for 15 minutes.
- In a large pan, heat up brisket fat over medium heat.
- Add chopped brisket and cook, stirring regularly, until heated through (if you make this fresh, just mix and move to next step).
- Add BBQ sauce ¼ cup at a time, stirring well, until brisket stops soaking up sauce and the remaining sauce in the pan has your desired consistency.
- Stir in honey and serve.
I left the bell pepper out of the BBQ sauce, because we don't like bell peppers very much.
I added a little honey at the end because I felt like it improved the sauce. This is definitely up to your own personal taste.