Beef Brisket – The King of Braised Meats

If you’ve ever eaten corned beef or pastrami, then you’ve eaten beef brisket.

This large piece of flavour-packed meat is often cured or smoked, but it’s also one of the best cuts for braising and slow cooking.

Different cuts of brisket

Brisket comes from the breast section of the animal, under the first five ribs. It is a large cut that is sold boneless.

Most quality butchers will offer you a choice of two cuts:

  • Point Cut which is full of flavour as it has more fat running through the meat than the flat cut. This triangle shaped cut is great for shredding.
  • Flat Cut is less fatty, with the fat in a layer on the bottom making it easier to slice.

As mentioned above, brisket is a cheap cut of meat used to make corned beef and pastrami. Corned beef is cured with spices and salt before being simmered in water, and pastrami involves the extra step of smoking the brisket before the final cooking. And speaking of smoking, this cut is smoked simply with a rub of salt at barbecue places until it falls apart.

Cooking brisket

Although a tough cut of meat, this toughness can be counteracted by long, slow cooking which creates a rich, tender joint. It’s a good idea to go for a strong sear to start with to develop some flavour and then braise until meltingly tender like when you cook a pot roast.

Brisket is a great dish to cook in advance as it actually tastes better the next day, once the flavours have had a chance to develop and come together. Another advantage is that the fat that melts into the cooking liquid will solidify and be easy to remove after a stay in the refrigerator. Just make sure to keep the brisket stored in the cooking liquid the whole time so it stays moist.

Beef brisket recipes

There are hundreds of recipes available online but we love these two very different recipes from Nigel Slater featured on the Guardian online and which include braised brisket of beef with porcini and onion gravy and coleslaw.

Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher

One of the most popular joints sold by Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers is our Brisket on the Bone cut from the breast of traditionally matured grass fed Welsh beef.