Memphis Beale St. BBQ Brisket with Whiskey Sauce
Beef brisket is one of my favorite cuts of meat. When cooked just right, it is incredibly tender and flavorful, and one of the most affordable cuts to boot! However there are an abundance of horror stories out there of under or overcooked brisket that end up tough, dry, chewy, shrunken or shriveled. Don’t fear! With a little practice and close attention you can easily avoid these common pitfalls.
Briskets come in a wide variety of sizes, from a small one pound size common in the supermarket, to massive fourteen pounders meant to spend an entire day in a smoker; in this recipe we call for about a three pound brisket. Feel free to use whatever size you need to feed everyone at your table. but be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Having an in-oven probe thermometer will be a huge asset here, since being able to pull it out of the oven right at 185°F and letting it rest for a while will give your brisket the maximum amount of time at just the right temperature to melt the fat without overcooking. The key to a tender brisket is cooking it just long enough to allow the connective tissue to breakdown, without leaving it dry and tough.
Also, when making the whiskey BBQ sauce, be sure to use a whiskey you would drink. The old adage about not cooking with something you wouldn’t drink yourself isn’t just for wine!
- 3 lbs. beef brisket
- 3 tablespoons Memphis Beale St. BBQ Rub
Whiskey BBQ Sauce:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup whiskey
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or Worcestershire powder)
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 Tbsp. tamari soy sauce
- 6 oz. tomato paste
For the Sauce
- Place the brisket in a cast iron skillet or baking dish.
- Place a sauce pan over low heat and add the olive oil.
- Saute the garlic until soft.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until blended.
For the Brisket
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Rub the brisket evenly with Memphis Beale St. BBQ Rub.
- Pour the sauce over the brisket and cover tightly.
- Bake for about 3 hours, or roughly an hour per pound. A probe thermometer in the middle of the brisket should read 185°F, or you can check for doneness by inserting a fork into the middle of the brisket, the meat should easily pull apart.
- Remove from the oven and allow the brisket to rest for about 30 minutes or as long as you can wait.
I have a couple of questions about this recipe.
1) How do you get the Memphis Beale St. BBQ Rub to stick to the brisket? Would it be permissible to take the required 3 Tbsp of rub and grind them in a spice grinder just before applying it to the beef? I noted that there is quite a bit of the whole spices in the mix and the picture of the finished brisket shows that the whole spices were left that way. I recently bought a 1/2 cup container of the rub and want to try cooking the brisket. I plan to start with a 3 lb brisket to start with.
2) Can this recipe be done using an electronic pressure cooker and if so, how much time would you suggest for a 3 pound brisket? My unit has both an automatic setting for beef and a timed setting where I can set how many minutes cooking time. Pressure cooking usually takes less time to cook since it is using pressurized steam. My unit can sense the weight of the meat and sets the cooking time accordingly or I can use the timer and for that it suggests I cook 3 lbs of beef for about 40 minutes.
3) If I read the recipe correctly the meat should not be browned before cooking, Is that correct?
If you can give me some suggestions I would appreciate it.
Thank you and best regards,
PS The jar of rub has a great aroma and I want to try it as soon as possible.
Hi Steve! The Memphis Beale St. will happily stay on your brisket by rubbing the spice blend onto the meat. No need to grind the blend, it is ready for you to use as is. Rub the spice blend on all sides, working the spices gently into the meat. Browning meat, aka the Maillard reaction, caramelizes the sugars in the meat creating that o-so-yummy crust. Since this is a slow-cooked, peel-apart brisket, there is no need to create this crust. Regarding the pressure cooker…I have to say I haven’t used one for this type of dish but, like we always say here at World Spice Merchants…play with your food! Pressure cookers are intended to create similar results to slow cooking so you have our blessing. Let us know how it goes, we would love to share your results with our readers.