1.21.2014

When A Brisket Meets A Ninja

*Guest post by chicago foodie girl contributor, Diana

Hello fellow foodies!  Long time no see! Happy belated New Year and all of that other fun stuff. I hope the holidays were happy and healthy for everyone.

Let's get down to some cooking business, but before I do that I first have to be begin by thanking the lovely folks at Euro Pro, makers of the Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System for the lovely gift bestowed upon me well over a year ago (oops!).




If you're unfamiliar with the Ninja, it's a slow cooker on a whole new level. It's a slow cooker, stovetop and oven all in one, and I just absolutely love it! You can sear and slow cook your meat all in the same pot. It bakes, too! Click here for some great demo videos.

I've made stews, soups and pot roasts in the Ninja, but this past weekend I made an ah-mazing brisket that I just can't seem to stop talking about! It took ten hours to cook and it was well worth the wait. I actually woke up at 4am on a Sunday to throw it all together so we'd have in time for lunch later that day. Talk about dedication!

Here's the recipe, scroll past for details and pics!


Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the brisket:

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 (5-pound) beef brisket
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Place all of the barbecue sauce ingredients in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine.

2. Place all of the measured brisket ingredients except the brisket in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

3. Place the brisket on a cutting board and cut it in half widthwise. Evenly coat it with the spice rub and place the 2 brisket pieces in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until fork-tender, about 10 hours.

4. Transfer the brisket to a clean cutting board. Pour the barbecue sauce from the slow cooker into a medium heatproof bowl and set it aside.

5. Remove the excess fat from the brisket and discard it. Slice the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and return it to the slow cooker. (Alternatively, you can shred the meat with 2 forks.)

6. Use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the barbecue sauce. Return the sauce to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine it with the meat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
If you know me, I'm always doctoring up recipes, but I refused to this time around. The only thing I omitted was the cayenne pepper (I'm a spice wimp) and adjusted the salt for the rub, since I didn't have kosher salt. I had fine sea salt, so I cut it down to about a teaspoon, perhaps a little bit more, and it worked out perfectly. I also planned to ask the butcher to cut most of the fat layer from the brisket, but Whole Foods had them already trimmed up in the display case, which was a big plus.

Here's some eye candy:

This was around hour five, brisket pieces playing nice in the pool. I also flipped the pieces over every couple of hours so it would cook all the way around in the sauce.

Smells = DELICIOUS!
Ten hours later, brisket is done.  I pulled the pieces out of the Ninja and into a dish to cool so I could completely remove the fat layer and move on to the next step:
After waiting about thirty minutes I shredded the brisket with a couple of forks and it came apart easily. Another option is to slice it against the grain, but I was all about the pulled brisket.
Oh and by the way: Taste = DELICIOUS! I had to leave the kitchen otherwise I would have eaten the whole thing. Oh my!
After the sauce cooled in the pan I skimmed off the fat from the top, then threw the kids back into the pool. I used the "stovetop" setting on the Ninja to reheat everything thoroughly. 
Ninja's multiple settings = FEWER DISHES TO WASH! Whoo hoo!
And now, the final product, the BBQ pulled brisket sandwich! I added a thin slice of sharp cheddar cheese but it really didn't need it. We served them on crusty sourdough rolls, but cut them in half and dipped the sandwiches in the BBQ sauce that's on the plate.
This is probably one of the best brisket recipes I've ever come across. The meat was juicy, tender and flavorful, thanks to the slow and low cook time and the combination of rub spices and the BBQ sauce. By the way, the BBQ sauce is very thin, almost like a gravy, and I really enjoyed that (great for dipping, like an au jus!). If you want to, I think you could cook down the sauce to make it thicker, but to be honest, I just couldn't wait any longer!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have an opportunity to try out this recipe. If you do, please share your thoughts in the comments section.  :-)

3 comments:

Sasha said...

I'll take a sandwich or two. Or maybe three. ;)

Kellin Smith said...

Hey! :)

We just launched Chicago bookoo - it's a massive online yard sale for Chicago and surrounding areas.- Thousands of people buying and selling used stuff from each other, in a fun, family-friendly way! :)

We're getting the word out to some local bloggers, and would like to send you a free bookoo t-shirt (no strings attached!). If you would like a free t-shirt, will you send me an email at kellin@bookoo.com with your address and shirt size? I'll get it out to you right away!

Check out the website:

http://chicago.bookoo.com/


Thanks!

cakewhiz said...

good lord! i am totally salivating right now...lol. You are right... this brisket was well worth all the work and the wait ;)