Oven Baked Brisket

Doing oven baked brisket was just one of the family events from the past several weeks. It’s been an emotional roller coaster what with our daughter’s graduation high school, our son’s birthday and my husband’s parents staying with us for a few weeks. I managed not to embarrass myself with too much crying as our daughter received her diploma but watching her drive off for her summer job of a camp councillor was tough. She is completely ready, us? Not so much. But we’ll adjust.

For our son’s birthday, I thought it would be fun to have a BBQ of grilled corn on the cob, mashed potato and a brisket. My in-laws don’t have much BBQ back home so I wanted to treat them as well. The thing is, it’s hard to keep the grill at a set temperature for 20 minutes, never mind the 10 hours needed to do a brisket on the grill. Plus, I didn’t think the propane would last. So the oven it was.

While it may not be traditional, you can get a very tender and flavourful brisket in the oven. You also don’t have to stand by the grill all day.

Technique for Oven Baked Brisket

As this isn’t Texas, I wasn’t able to find the Texas size brisket but that’s ok as we’re fans of portion control.

The only downsize to a smaller piece of meat is you don’t have a lot of fat on it. Make up the dry rub. Spread stone mustard all over the cut of meat, then rub the dry rub so the meat is well covered. This will help the brisket keep moist.

Cover and keep in the fridge overnight. An hour before you put it into the oven remove it from the fridge to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.

Wrap the brisket well in tin foil, you don’t want any moisture escaping into the oven. Bake until the brisket is fork tender. For the 1 1/2lb of meat I used, it was about 2 1/2 hours.

Spread with BBQ sauce of your choice. I used my Fresh Peach BBQ Sauce for this. Broil on high for a couple of minutes to heat the sauce and crisp up the outside of the brisket.

Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice and serve with your favourite sides.

I got a thumbs up from my son who enjoyed his birthday dinner very much. Success!

Oven Baked Brisket

Oven Baked Brisket is a tender and flavourful addition to a summer BBQ.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Oven Baked Brisket
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 3 hours
Author Our Growing Paynes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb brisket
  • 1/4 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Dry Rub

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Instructions

The night before

  1. Mix the dry rub ingredients together. Spread the mustard on all sides of the brisket. Cover the mustard with the dry rub. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

The day of cooking

  1. Remove the brisket from the fridge and preheat the oven to 300F/150C.

  2. Cover the brisket completely with tin foil. Bake until the meat is fork tender, for meat this size, about 2 1/2 hours.

  3. Uncover the brisket and spread the BBQ over the top. Broil for a few minutes to heat up the sauce and crisp the outside of the brisket.

  4. Rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

  5. Serve with your favourite BBQ sides.

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Italian Style Burgers

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer in the states.  Usually marked by BBQs and last trips to lakes and beaches.  And it was hot this weekend!  Thank goodness temps are looking to break tomorrow.  I’m over the humidity and heat.  I’m very ready for autumn.

Burgers was the main request for Monday night and we tossed around ideas of what to make so I could have a recipe to share.  My husband mentioned it would be fun to stuff them with mozzarella.  Sounded good to me!

Italian burger 1 2015

I wanted to use oven roasted tomatoes for this recipe and that does need to be done ahead of time as it takes at least an hour.  To prep the burger, finely chop a clove of garlic and mix with a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme.  Add it to about a pound of ground beef.  Then add about a 1/3 of a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few dashes of balsamic vinegar.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Mix everything together with your hands.  The trick is to not overwork the meat but get everything evenly distributed.

Italian burger 2 2015

Divide the meat into four portions and place a slice of mozzarella in the centre.  Wrap the meat around the cheese.  Do your best to seal the cheese in.

Italian burger 3 2015

Grill them on a hot grill.  While they are grilling prepare the topping for the burgers.  I had some oyster mushrooms to use up.

Italian burger 4 2015

In a small skillet heat up a bit of olive oil.  Chop up the mushrooms and a clove of garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and add the roasted tomatoes.

Italian burger 5 2015

Add a bit of balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Italian burger 6 2015

At the end of cooking add fresh basil.  Top the burgers with the tomato mixture and grate fresh parmesan on top with a bit more fresh basil.

Italian burger 7 2015

And if all goes right, it will be nice and melty inside.  Melty, not sure if that is the technical term!

Italian burger 8 2015

Add a side of grilled corn and it’s a great meal to say goodbye to summer.  While I left off the bun, this is also good with a buttered grilled brioche bun.  But that is a lot of food!

BBQ Burgers and Family Time

Every summer there is nearly a month when the kids are gone.  A bit hard on the parents but it means the kids are off on adventures.  They do a two week overnight camp and then we usually get them for a couple of days then they are off to Florida to see grandparents with their mother and stepfather.

While we get a break from the usual back and forth of getting the kids round we miss them like crazy.  We picked them up from camp Friday evening and they had so many stories to tell.  It was non stop and it was fabulous.  But they were looking forward to home cooked food.

Our daughter must have missed the kitchen as she made breakfast each morning this weekend and baked cookies.  Yesterday morning she kicked us out and set the table with flowers and candles.  She really loves going all out.

When we picked them up they mentioned they were sick of cheeseburgers.  Shoot, as that was what I was making for last night!  Our daughter said oh we love your burgers so that’s ok.  Phew!

It was time for something different so I thought I would make BBQ burgers.  Our poblanos are coming in and I wanted to use them.  Our garden has been a struggle this year but our peppers are doing us proud.  I see a lot of hot pepper jelly in our future.  Unfortunately we’ve used up all our Peach BBQ sauce I had made so I had to use, gasp, store bought.  Peaches are showing up in the shops now so it is on my list to make another batch.

BBQ Burgers 1 2015

I had a pound of ground beef which is more than enough for the four of us.  The only issue is it’s impossible to find decent buns that aren’t enormous.  So the buns tend to dwarf the burger.  I think a quarter pound of meat is more than enough but I think I’m in the minority in this country.  My husband and I went without the bun.  In a bowl add the meat.  Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and add that with a few teaspoons of fresh thyme.  I didn’t have enough cheddar to do slices on top but I did have enough to grate for the actual burger.  The amount I added was about a quarter of the meat in volume.  Then add a few tablespoons of BBQ.  Mix well and form into patties.  Set aside.  Cook up several rashers of streaky bacon and set that aside as well.

BBQ Burgers 3 2015

My husband brought home some fresh corn yesterday.  So exciting!  I love having them grilled.  Very easy to do, just soak for about 20 minutes in water.  Then grill for 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.  When these were halfway cooked I added the burgers.

BBQ Burgers 2 2015

Once you flip them add sliced onion that have been prepped with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.  Add the poblanos after deseeding them.  You want the peppers to blister a little but don’t go crazy.  You want to grill the onions so they have the grill marks but aren’t burnt. When the burgers are almost done add slices of cheddar or jarlsberg to the burgers to melt.

BBQ Burgers 4 2015

Layer with BBQ sauce, bacon, onion, and pepper.  Butter up that corn and enjoy!  My husband did up some sweet potato and regular potato chips (fries) to round out the meal.  I was stuffed.  I think a bun would have sent me over the edge.  I didn’t even have room for ice cream!

Nearly Lost the Battle with the Charcoal….

So apparently chickens are flammable.  I found out the hard way last night while cooking chicken for the non fish lovers in the family.  I’m still getting used to cooking with charcoal and I made the mistake of walking away after I put the chicken thighs on the grill.  I had other parts of the dinner to prepare.  The grill didn’t think that was a good enough excuse.  When I checked the chickens were balls of flame.  I removed the grill part with the chicken from the heat and started blowing the chicken out like candles.  Oops.  Fortunately they weren’t flaming chickens for long and they turned out ok if you ignore the blackened outside.  Forgive me but I was too busy to take a pic. 

Luckily everything else went smoothly.  The other day a few of us popped down to Saumur to check out the market.  It was a lot of fun and quite large.  It wanders through a lot of streets but we found the food side and found some wonderful ingredients.  One was selling fresh mushrooms including pink ones.  I have no idea what they are called but he also had shiitake mushrooms so I got a bit of both.  I also found a lovely piece of salmon.  There was a bit of language juggling as we sorted out I wanted the skin on but the scales off.  But we got there in the end.  

  
 Following the suggestion from the mushroom man, I minced up some fresh garlic, sliced the mushrooms, and prepped the basil to sauté.  

  
In a skillet heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Once it is hot add the mushrooms and garlic.  Stir as it begins to cook so the mushrooms are evenly coated with the olive oil.  The mushrooms will shrink a bit.  As they begin to brown add a bit of lemon juice to taste along with salt and pepper.  Near the end add a healthy handful of the basil.

  
Once they have browned nicely they are ready to serve.

  
In addition to setting the chicken on fire I also grilled salmon.  I was much more successful with that.  I added a bit of lemon juice and thyme along with salt and pepper to the salmon and cooked it medium rare.  

 
Yesterday we went to Fontevraud Abby which was very interesting.  The scale of it is immense.  It has been sanitised quite a lot and almost looks brand new in some areas.  Still I was glad we went.  

   

  

  

I’m not sure what rose this was but it was stunning.  It was like it was lit from within.  The gardens were lovely though in the cisterns I thought ducks were stuck given the sounds.  Turns out to be two frogs.  Not sure if there was a massive argument or one of them was hoping Barry White music would break out.  But one was running and one was chasing!

Roger from Food, Photography, and France was kind enough to email me about Les Halles in the towns.  So I went back today as I didn’t know what market was on and this one came recommended.  It had some amazing cheeses to chose from.  And there was a fresh produce stall.  So thank you Roger!  

We found a bistro to have lunch.  They seriously know how to do cheese plates here.

  
I also spotted pork belly on the menu.  The flavour was really good.  I think they should have slow cooked it more as it was pretty firm though.

 
As you can see, I’m still having loads of fun.  It’s going to be hard going home.  Tomorrow I’m taking an art lesson so I’m excited for that.  Life is good!

Lovely Farmer’s Markets and Grilling Cod

The schedule for the markets in the surrounding towns is being figured out.  We went to our first one in Noyant and what fun!  It isn’t a big one but you won’t lack for food.  Though for this one, in order to get fresh herbs I had to buy a thyme plant.  Where there’s a way!

 
It wasn’t expensive and my in-laws can keep it when they go home.  

  

With our phrase book, little French, and the vendors’ little English (or sometimes big English!) we managed to get everything we needed for the special dinner of celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.  Quite the accomplishment these days!  

  
We also managed to find some lovely cured meats, cheeses, and the most amazing crevettes.  They are very messy to peel and eat but it’s worth it.

  
The fish monger had a very good selection of fish so I bought some cod to grill.  The stall that sold cured meats also sold spices and we got a mix that was like a citrusy dry rub that had paprika in it.  I thought it would be perfect for the cod.  We found some ready prepared kebabs made with turkey and beef for the non fish lovers to round out the meal.

I prepared the cod two ways.  First I rubbed the fish with the dry rub and added olive oil.  I wrapped it in the tin foil and put it in the fridge.

  
For the second preparation of the cod.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper, added lemon slices, thyme sprigs, olive oil, and dry white wine.

  
Wrap in tin foil and place it in the fridge until ready to grill.  I also prepped aubergine with salt and pepper and olive oil to grill.  The mushrooms I dipped into a lemon thyme dressing I made for the salad.

  
  
I’ve gotten the hang of the charcoal grill but it is very hot work in this heatwave!  Yesterday was 100F/38C.  Even in the shade, trying to be an asthmatic bellow to get the flames going nearly did me in.  But I was successful.  Given that it’s not a large grill I had to do the food in stages with the aubergine put on last.

  
Keep the lemon thyme cod in the tin foil so it poaches in the olive oil and wine.  I decided to be brave and place the other cod directly on the grill.  Conor from One Man’s Meat was kind enough to give me a tip of about five minutes.  This was quite the thick piece so after a few minutes I checked to make sure it was starting to flake before flipping it over to cook on the other side.

  
So far so good!  The kebabs were done so I added the leek to the grill.  You want the fish to be flaky but not dry.  It’s ok to have it medium well rather than well done.

 
My husband made delicious garlic bread and his aunt made a salad.  I have to say, I was really pleased with how the fish came out.  Both ways.

  

We are enjoying the countryside and I love the sunflowers.  Though if you stop on the roadside beware!  I don’t know if I stepped in stinging nettles or some stinging insect nest.  Either way it was painful getting the shot.  Taking the suffering for your art a bit too far I think.  😊 

Don’t Judge the Heat by It’s Cover…

Who brought the heat?  I would love to find away to know how hot a hot pepper is by looking at it.  Because boy oh boy it can be quite the surprise!  One of the jalapeños I bit into for this dish set steam coming out of my ears and my good husband went running for the milk.  I hate milk but when your mouth feels like it is on fire you take what you can.

I was digging round in my pins to try something new with bacon and I came across BBQ Jalapeño Poppers from Country Wood Smoke.  I didn’t have the supplies to smoke them so I grilled instead.  Aside from the tear inducing pepper these are delicious and easy to make.

Jalapeno poppers 1 2015

I mixed cream cheese, asaigo cheese, and parmesan cheese together.  The ratio is half cream cheese and then half the hard cheese.

Jalapeno poppers 2 2015

Mix well and add either fresh sage or oregano.  Set aside.  When handling hot peppers I wear gloves because otherwise my fingers burn for days.  Carefully deseed the peppers then stuff with the cheese mixture.

Jalapeno poppers 3 2015

Put the cap of the pepper back on then wrap with bacon.  I recommend toothpicks if your bacon is thick cut so it stays on.  Plus it helps keep the caps on. I found the caps didn’t “glue” on as I had hoped.  I really need to make more of my BBQ sauce but since I’ve been slacking I had to use store bought.  Gasp!  Brush all sides of the poppers with the BBQ sauce.

Jalapeno poppers 4 2015

Place on the grill.  Try not to have the grill too hot because you want the cheese to be hot when finished without the bacon turned to a blackened mess.  Turn the poppers a couple of times as it cooks.

Jalapeno poppers 5 2015

I served these with a fresh salad so the meal wouldn’t be too heavy.  But these are perfect for grilling and summertime meals.

Fabulous Pulled Pork Sandwiches and the French Language

When we travel we try to learn a few phrases and bring a phrase book.  Knowing please, thank you, where is the toilet, etc can go a long way.  It certainly is better received than yelling louder in English.  Honestly, why do people do that?  Right now my husband and I are learning French.  Well, he’s reviewing it and I’m trying to learn it.

Now I know English is very hard to learn, it is such a mish mash of languages from all the influences going back a few thousand years.  I’m starting to think French isn’t that far behind in the level of difficulty of learning it.  Questions have completely thrown me for a loop!  And the proclivity for words having many different meanings that don’t connect.  And plurals.  Sigh, I learn best by hearing and plurals sound the same as singular!  I am determined to get this because we’ll be in France this summer for a couple of weeks.  I am going to do my best but I think my phrasebook will be by my side!

I can not wait for the markets and the food.  I’ll be cooking up a storm!

I had mentioned a few months ago that my son had asked his friend’s mother to make pulled pork and he asked that I make it some time.  Now that I have more time I thought I’d give it a try.  To be honest I’ve never had a pulled pork sandwich.  But they look delicious.

This is an all day affair so in the morning prepare the dry rub.  This can be done the day before as well to let the pork sit overnight.  I found an hour to be enough.

In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, and some sea salt.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 1 2015

Prep the pork.  I got a 2 pound pork shoulder.  The connective tissue on the outside needs to be removed prior to cooking. Mix the dry rub well and rub it all over the pork making sure everything is covered.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 2 2015

Chill for an hour at least.  Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.  Prior to cooking spread some mustard on the pork.  I used my homemade mustard which is super easy to make.  Then add about 3/4 cup of ale.  We used our Irish copper ale we homebrewed.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 3 2015

Cover and slow cook in the oven for about 6 hours.  After a couple of hours baste the pork every hour.  The goal is to have it falling apart but still moist.  Nothing worse than stringy dry meat!

Pulled Pork Sandwich 4 2015

Pull the pork with forks to shred it completely and put it into a pot.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 5 2015

For the BBQ sauce I used the last of the Peach BBQ Sauce I made last year.  Time to make another batch!  Add enough to coat the meat without it being soupy.  While this is warming through pickle red onion in apple cider vinegar.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 6 2015

The onions lend a wonderful brightness to the pork.  For the bread I found some local brioche that we warmed up in the microwave.  Layer the pork with shredded cheese and the onion.

Pulled Pork Sandwich 7 2015

If you would like add a dollop of sour cream.  Because I couldn’t have the bread I had my dish in a bowl with the sour cream.  Delicious!

Pulled Pork Sandwich 8 2015

Even though this takes all day it is so worth it.  Unfortunately our son had a friend over and it turns out he is vegetarian!  So he had a grilled cheese.  I promised the next time I’ll do a vegetarian meal for him.  But given his age the grilled cheese hit the spot.  🙂

Mmmm Ribs….

Years ago my aunt knew someone who would make these amazing ribs.  Seriously good stuff.  So I asked for the recipe and since at the time I didn’t have a grill and lived by myself I promptly put it in a “safe” place.  You know the one, the one you can never find.  Flash forward to the present when we recently took our son out to dinner and there were ribs on the kids menu.  He got all excited!  Who knew?  He loves ribs.  I rolled up my sleeves and did a bit of digging as I had moved twice!  Guess what?  Found the recipe!  I had a bunch of people to make it for and a grill.  🙂

The copy I have is from a Bon Appetite issue and they, in turn, got it from Miles James who is/was the chef-owner of James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas.  I don’t know how old this recipe is or when it was published.

Obviously if you have the time prepare the ribs the day before.  I didn’t so I did the prep earlier in the day and that worked as well.  I saw the recipe was for 4-6 which was perfect so I found a rack with 12 ribs on it and bought it.  It wasn’t until I read the whole recipe that it called for 3 racks!  Seriously?  That is a crazy amount of food once you add in the mash potatoes and grilled corn on the cob.

Prepare the rub first by combining 2 Tablespoons ground cumin, 1 Tablespoon chili powder, dry mustard, and coarse salt, 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon.  This is what the recipe called for.  I changed it a bit because I didn’t have chili powder so I increased the cayenne and because the mustard was really strong I added 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.

Ribs 1 2013

Rub both sides of the ribs with this mixture.

Ribs 2 2013 Ribs 3 2013

Cover with cling film and store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours if not overnight.

To prepare the sauce I chopped about 2 cups of onions and about 1 1/2 cups of scallions.  I finely chopped 8 cloves of garlic and sauteed the onions and garlic in some olive oil.

Ribs 4 2013

Once those have softened a bit I added 2 cups packed brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, 1 small can of tomato paste (8oz), 1 cup water, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin.  The recipe also calls for 1 chopped ancho chili but I couldn’t find that so I used a hot wax pepper.

Ribs 5 2013 Ribs 6 2013

Then I put in just over half a cup of garlic mustard.  The recipe does call for 1 cup of whole grain Dijon mustard but I didn’t have that but I found what I used to work really well.

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Stir well and then let it simmer to reduce a bit and thicken.

Ribs 8 2013

This year I decided to really figure out how to grill properly.  No more throwing the meat on and cooking it quickly!  These were the first ribs I have ever cooked so I tried to do it somewhat slowly and watch the grill temps.  I almost got it!  🙂  But it will take some practice.

After cutting the ribs in half I seared them quickly then shifted them to one side and kept the burners going on the other side.

Ribs 9 2013

After about 45 minutes or so I removed them to do the sauce. The recipe said about 40 minutes.  Going forward I think lower and slower will do the trick.  Slather on the BBQ sauce before returning the meat to the grill.

Ribs 10 2013

Once the meat starts to have a bit of caramelization then it is ready to serve.

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Our son really enjoyed this and so did the rest of us!  🙂

The Salt Lick in Texas

The company my husband works for has offices in Austin and we have friends there.  We went down in November to go to the Renfest (another post to come 🙂 ) and a must stop is going to the Salt Lick outside of Austin.  Amazing BBQ!  Salt Lick 3 2013

I’m talking finger licking good BBQ.  🙂  It’s a casual, cash based place with rustic picnic tables.  There are two main buildings and if you don’t time it right there is a very long wait.

Salt Lick 1 2013

The pit where all the flavours happen.

salt lick 2 2013

I would be remiss in not having some pecan pie for dessert.  Well, I ordered some for takeaway as there is a limit on what I can eat in one sitting.  😉

Salt Lick 4 2013

The best bit I think is part of the group of friends includes a lovely lady who is a wine importer.  As this place is a BYOB, she comes with a great selection of wines and glasses.  It’s all very civilized.  It’s funny how many people stop at our table to say they should have thought of that.  Salt Lick has started provided some wines from their winery but you have to buy the bottles from that and then have it at your table.

Salt Lick 5 2013

Of course when the food comes it gets a little quieter round the table.  I’m not a fan of coleslaw or beans so I just ask for the potatoes.  I always forget the double the potatoes!  Way too much.  We also get the BBQ sauces to bring home with us and the dry rub.  Yummy.  🙂