Yup, it’s summer (well, practically). And we live in an apartment, which means we don’t have a space to cook outdoors. Which means that if we want something BBQ-y, we have to get all MacGyveriffic. This week, we wanted brisket. Not Joan Nathan Jewish brisket. Not fancy-shmancy brisket. And not slow-cooker brisket.
What we were looking for was something approximating Texas brisket—the kind with a crusty outside and a tender inside, the kind that’s spent 24 hours in the dry heat of a smoker. Technically, this is an impossibility: first, we’re not Texans (though we are enjoying Friday Night Lights). And second, no smoker. Oh, and we also didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. Luckily, Cate over at Sweetnicks has the perfect solution: Cook All Night BBQ Brisket.
She’s got the details on her site so I won’t go into it here, but here’s the gist: You take your brisket (I wouldn’t do less than 4 or 5 pounds), season it (and leave the fat on, or you’ll wind up with a hunk of carbon! Trim it off after it’s cooked), and put it in a baking dish. In the oven overnight, very low heat, and you’re golden. When you wake up, slice and refrigerate. Since the oven’s only on when there’s nobody in the kitchen, who cares if it heats up?
If you’re ambitious, you can make your own barbecue sauce—but I didn’t this time; I went with Bone-Suckin’ Sauce. Drizzle a little over the brisket when you reheat it to prevent the meat from drying out, and serve on buns (I like whole wheat) with more sauce and coleslaw.
Look, I’m not claiming this is authentic Texas brisket—if you’ve been reading here for more than a day or two, you know that I’m about just getting a healthy dinner on the table, rather than guaranteeing a 100% authentic experience. So don’t shoot me for suggesting it’s akin to Texas BBQ. It’s just the closest I can get, ok?
One more thing about the brisket: The recipe makes a lot. Stephen and I got two meals each out of it, and I froze enough for at least another meal each.
To go with this fabulous brisket, I made the coleslaw. Now, you may have noticed that there are, oh, ZERO recipes on this site that call for mayo. This is because the very texture of it gives me the willies. Plus, it ain’t exactly diet-friendly. Soooo, my coleslaw is vinegar-based. It’s incredibly straightforward, but it’s also incredibly tasty (if I do say so myself).
Weight Watchers: this is 1 point per serving (and I checked, even if you stretch it to 10 servings, it’s still 1 point!)
1 medium cabbage (I used savoy, but you could use plain green or red), cored and thinly sliced
1/2 a red onion OR 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, shredded
1 granny smith apple, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
Combine the cabbage, onion, carrots, and apple in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, and celery seeds. Stir it until the the mixture comes to a boil—it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Once it boils, remove from the heat and pour over the vegetables. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, tossing occasionally.