Sweet & Sour Brisket

I have been a busy busy girl the past week or two with the holidays and some other things going on.  Dave and I split our holiday time between our two families so we got to celebrate Passover sedar twice!

I was so excited when my Mommom told me I could make something to help out this year.  I was back and forth as to what to make but finally decided to take on the responsibility of making the Brisket.  This would be a risky choice, having never made it before… but I was up for the challenge.  With the assistance of my crockpot and my handy-dandy Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I made one hell of a brisket!  Yay!

I realize Passover is OVER for this year, but there is always time for a good Brisket.

Sweet & Sour Brisket

Ingredients:

1 4-5lb Brisket (mine was 5.25)

1.5 teaspoons Sea Salt, plus some more for seasoning the meat

Black Pepper

1 cup Beef Broth

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

4 teaspoons Paprika

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Tablespoons Onion Powder

Directions:

Step 1:  Cook Brisket.  Season the meat with Salt and Pepper on both sides.  Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Place the meat in a slow cooker, pour the sauce over it, and set it to cook on LOW for 10 hours.  Your house is going to smell phenomenal.

Step 2:  Rest Brisket.  Resist the urge to eat the brisket… it’s going to get better with time.  While the meat is still hot, scrape off any large fat pieces on the edges.  There was a TON on mine.  Transfer the brisket into a baking dish, making sure to keep all of the sauce too.  Chill in the refrigerator for anywhere between a few hours to a whole day.  

Step 3:  Re-Heat Brisket.  An hour before you need to eat the brisket, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Remove the grease that has hardened on the top of the meat and sauce (or not, but it’s really nasty so I recommend it).  Remove the brisket from the dish and place on a large cutting board.  Slice while cold and transfer back into the saucy baking dish and spoon the sauce over the meat.  Bake in the oven until heated through, the sauce should be bubbly on the edges.  Serve immediately.

Recipe from:  the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Note:  The original recipe includes directions for cooking in the oven.  Briefly… Cook the meat in a 350 degree preheated oven in a dutch oven or in a baking dish tightly covered with foil.  Bake for 3 hours.  

photo 4 (2)

Had to stuff this bad boy in there!  It's amazing how much it shrinks though... so much fat to remove.

Had to stuff this bad boy in there! It’s amazing how much it shrinks though… so much fat to remove.

Gettin' Saucy!

Gettin’ Saucy!

This is all I had to dirty while making the brisket... love it.

This is all I had to dirty while making the brisket… love it.

I was SO nervous about this silly brisket!  I really wanted to make something big and new and exciting and I didn’t want to screw it up.  To add to my new recipe anxiety, I was stupid and didn’t read the cooking time until I had already started at 6:30pm on Saturday.  If I did it the right way, that would have meant to take it out at 4:30am.  LOL.

Lucky for me, Dave was out at a bachelor party and I was already waiting for him and awake at 2:30 to finish the brisket up.  Lesson learned:  read directions first.  Duh.

Cooled brisket with the grease scraped off.  Ready to be sliced.

Cooled brisket with the grease scraped off. Ready to be sliced.

It's easiest to slice the brisket when it's cold.  You'll get better slices whereas when you cut it after it's reheated it'll be more fork tender and fall apart.

It’s easiest to slice the brisket when it’s cold. You’ll get better slices whereas when you cut it after it’s reheated it’ll be more fork tender and fall apart.

Once the brisket is cut, I transfered it to my dutch oven to heat up for dinner.  Don't stress if the slices break a little... those will be the best bites!

Once the brisket is cut, I transfered it to my dutch oven to heat up for dinner. Don’t stress if the slices break a little… those will be the best bites!

 

What a great spread... brisket was so good.

What a great spread… brisket was so good.

Despite my nerves and anxiety, the brisket was awesome.  It was so easy to make and turned out absolutely perfect and delicious.  The brisket was so moist and flavorful, it was also the perfect combination of sliced pieces and the fally-apart pieces that sop up all the sauce.  MMM!

I do have to pat myself on the back once more and mention to you that my Dad who has NEVER tried Brisket in my lifetime not only tried this one… but really liked it.  Whatttttttttt?!

It’s a good thing when there are no leftovers, right?  I’d say next time I’d make a bigger one but this 5.25 lb baby hardly fit into my crockpot!

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Leftovers

Jimmy’s BBQ in Malvern, PA

For those of you who don’t already know, I am obsessed with Groupon deals.  Living Social, Buy With Me, Dealyo, etc etc… I love them all.  Besides the obvious savings they provide, I like buying these coupons because they allow me to try new places.  In this case, Dave and I had a deal that brought us all the way out to Malvern, PA for Jimmy’s BBQ.

Oink Oink!

I knew I was going to like Jimmy’s when we walked in the door.  Besides the entire restaurant smelling heavenly, the first thing I saw was a sink in the dining area… which is amazing after getting messy eating BBQ!  What a great idea.

At Jimmy’s BBQ, EVERYTHING is made from scratch.  The BBQ meats are house-smoked using hickory and cherry woods, dry-rubbed, and then served to you so you can slather as much of their homemade BBQ sauce on as you’d like.  Not only did we come to Jimmy’s on Wednesday (one FREE beer with any order after 5pm), but we had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy himself.  He talked to us about the differences in their three types of BBQ sauces, how they smoke their meats, and even was kind enough to give us a sample of their fall-off-the-bone ribs.  Now that’s what I call good service!

It’s no surprise knowing how indecisive I am, that we both had to order the Meat Sampler Plate including 5 oz portions of our choice of three meats.  Dave ordered the BBQ Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Brisket while I chose the Brisket, Chicken, and Hot Italian Sausage (also from scratch, house smoked).  We each got to pick two sides, and per Jimmy’s suggestion we each ordered the Smoked Beans, and then the Dirty Corn Salad and Corn Bread.

Delish sides

Brisket, Chicken, and Hot Italian Sausage (from left to right) mmmmm!

Let me tell you, I don’t even know where to start!  Everything we ate here was delicious.  ALL of the meats were tender, juicy, and flavorful.  At first, we couldn’t decide which of the three BBQ sauces we liked best, and I’m sure you’re not surprised that the “Hot” won out… duh.  Jimmy told us that they use white cayenne pepper in the Hot BBQ sauce, which I had never heard of.  I will definitely have to go buy some for home.

Dave loaded up on the BBQ sauce

Dave’s favorite was the Brisket, which happens to be one of his favorite foods.  Although everything was so yummy, I couldn’t stop eating the hot Italian sausage.  It was so good!  I could hardly finish my plate so I got to take home some leftovers and some extra BBQ sauces.

Dave and I will absolutely be returning to Jimmy’s BBQ in the near future.  It’s hard to find good BBQ food in the Philly area and it is so nice to know we have such a great place less than a half hour away.  Both of us recommend Jimmy’s, and make sure you say “hi” to Jimmy when you go try it for yourself!