Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest of either beef cattle or veal. It requires slow cooking due to the amount of connective tissue in the muscle of the cow, as a cow has no collar bone this muscle must carry up to 60% of the weight of the cow.
The fact that brisket is high in connective tissue means its high in collagen, eating foods high in collagen helps boost the health of your own tendons and ligaments. These tissues wears out as we get older. The fact that Brisket is high in collagen means it needs a low temperature and slow cooking process to break down the tissue. The plus side is the meat ends up gelatinous after this process meaning it is extra tasty and high in glutamate making it have that amazing unami taste.
Around the world brisket is nearly always cooked slow, in the UK its normally braised or stewed in a broth with root vegetables. In China its cooked with spices slowly until tender and then served over rice or in a broth with noodles. In Korea its first simmered with aromatic herbs and vegetables, it is then left to cool pressed under weights in a soy marinade. This preserves the brisket and it is served cut into match stick lengths in spicy soups.
The Irish and Irish Americans turn brisket into corned beef, curing in a salt solution for a week and then cooking slowing with spices. Serving it with mashed potato and cabbage.
At Rub we use the Texas principles of cooking, which have been around since the indigenous native Americans cooked it hundreds of years ago. This involves sourcing the best beef from our farm butchers in Yorkshire, rubbing with a mixture of spices and brown sugar leaving it to marinate and dry slightly normally for 24 hours. It is then smoked overnight over wood for around 14 hours at a very low temperature. At Rub we smoke it over hickory which a sweet fragrant wood, in Texas it may more traditionally be Oak creating a much more woodier smoke flavour.
The smoking process causes a crust to form known as bark on the outside of the meat and if smoked correctly there will be a pink ring just underneath the bark. This is the holy grail of barbecue is trying to make sure that smoke ring appears.
The result of rubbing and smoking is a wonderful tender, addictive beef with a good balance of fat running through it that adds to its flavour. Plus the fact its good for you?
As a Sunday roast alternative the brisket with Jack Daniels meat juices, mash and spring greens makes a great lunch, or enjoy in our complete barbecue tasting package the Hung Drawn and Quartered. We'd definitely recommend risking it for a few slices of brisket.