This weekend Caroline and I hosted our annual summer party. I had a few guest ask about my brisket and shrimp recipes so lets start with the Brisket!
For smaller batches the best ( and easiest ) method is in a slow cooker.
1 brisket, 4 lbs., first cut
Salt and pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups honey barbecue sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar (or more to taste)
1 tbsp cornstarch
15-16 slider buns (small hamburger buns)
You will also need
Slow cooker, 5-7 quart capacity
Sprinkle brisket generously with salt and pepper. Mix the onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl. Dry rub both sides of the brisket with the seasoning mixture.
Stir together the honey barbecue sauce and brown sugar. Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the seasoned brisket, fatty side up, into the slow cooker. Don't worry if it's a little big for the cooker, the brisket will shrink as it cooks. Cover the top o the brisket with the remaining sauce.
Cover the slow cooker. Cook brisket on low for 9-10 hours, or until fork tender.
When the brisket is cooked, remove it carefully from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board.
Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large bowl and let it cool. Slice off the fat cap from the top of the brisket and discard.
Flip the brisket over so the leaner side faces upward. You'll be able to see the direction of the meat grain better on this side. Slice the brisket against the grain. The meat will start to fall apart and "shred" as you slice... this is good.
Skim the fat from the sauce in the bowl. The fat will appear lighter in color than the sauce, like droplets of oil on the surface. Skim as much fat as you can.
In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water till completely smooth. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and stir to combine.
Pour half of the sauce back into the slow cooker. Layer the slices of brisket meat on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the brisket.
Turn slow cooker to high for about 1 hour, till the meat and sauce are heated through and the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Note that some slow cookers run hotter than others; keep a close eye to make sure the sauce doesn't get too hot or overly dry. If the sauce starts to dry out, add some hot water or more barbecue sauce to the slow cooker. Switch to warm as soon as the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Shred the meat with a fork till desired texture is reached. Taste the meat; season with more salt and pepper, if desired. For a sweeter sauce, stir in a little more brown sugar to taste. Keep the slow cooker on warm setting till ready to serve. Serve meat on soft warm slider buns. Sometimes I top the meat with a little coleslaw or a pickle slice. You don't need anything too fancy, these sliders are just great as-is-- easy, simple, homemade comfort food.