Brisket for Passover

We don’t really adhere to any one religious philosophy in our house, but use each holiday as an excuse to celebrate customary foods and traditions. With Passover and Easter so close together this year, we have gotten out several of our favorite recipes to prepare for ourselves and any friends in the neighborhood who need an excuse to eat and drink. And amazing as though it may seem, an older E II or 2008 Two Old Dogs Cabernet Sauvignon go beautifully with all these meat recipes!

Beef Brisket is our go-to meat for Passover. Although usually braised as a pot roast, we have found a great way to slow cook brisket in our Barbeque. As card-carrying members and “certified “judges of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, (we always look forward to their monthly newsletter “The Bullsheet”), we happened across the New England Barbeque competition at the Harpoon Brewery in Vermont. The highlight for us was the hands-on Barbequed Brisket presentation, and we have made this successfully in our Barbeque many times since.

Barbecued Beef Brisket
This is an all-day event, so don’t rush it – the longer you cook the brisket, the more tender the meat. Cooking time will be about 1 ½ hours per pound. Ask your butcher for a full brisket (10-12 lbs. – you may lose as much as 30% in cooking, but there should be enough for leftovers!) with both the flat and the “point” (a triangular, fatty cap) and lots of fatty marbling in the meat. Rinse the brisket and pat dry. Rub it with the juice and zest of two lemons, and apply your BBQ rub (dry salt and spices and brown sugar) at least an hour before cooking.

If you have a true Barbeque (smoker) as we do, prepare your hardwood fire and keep the temperature about 200-225, or you can cook it in low oven with or without some smoking aids. For the first 5-6 hours, cook the meat with the point, or fat, side down. Take the meat out and wrap in foil and return to the fire with the fat side on top for the remaining time – it should continue to cook for another 5-6 hours (the fat will drip down into the meat and keep it moist and juicy). The final internal meat temperature should be between 170 and 180.

Let it sit on the counter and rest for 10-15 minutes (it will continue to cook). Remove the fatty “point” and carve across the grain by cutting the meat on a diagonal. And don’t forget to eat the lovely blackened edges, or “bark”.