This time it wasn’t Martha’s fault. We took a road trip up to Cleveland for my dad’s birthday party this last weekend, so no Martha menu yet this week. Along the route, which cost an outrageous $30 in tolls, there are very few decent food options. I was subjected to wilted lettuce in one salad, stale croutons in another, and undercooked pizza crust.
Thank goodness we ate well at the actual party. My dad is a total meat and potatoes kind of guy; Tex-Mex and BBQ are his favorites, so that’s what we made. We had guacamole , cheddar thumbprint “cookies” with jalepeno jelly, BBQ brisket, potato salad, Ranch Style beans (which I had to bring with me from VA since they aren’t carried up there), and grilled vegetables marinated in some basil olive oil.
I cheated on Martha, and used a Paula Deen brisket recipe that she got from someone else. I’ve had trouble getting briskets to turn out tender in the past, so I made this in advance so I’d have enough time for a Plan B if needed. It turned out tender, so we hauled it up to Ohio in a cooler. The first day it was really spicy. We couldn’t even use the au jus that cooked off the meat because it has so much chili powder in it. The heat seemed to have tamed down a bit after it sat for a day, or maybe that bite we initially had just had more rub than the rest.
The recipe didn’t call for marinating the meat in the rub, but it seemed like a good idea. If you are short on time it should be fine to skip that step. It also said to cook at 300, but we lowered the temp to ensure tenderness.
Texas Oven-Roasted BBQ Brisket (adapted from Paula Deen via Tom Perini on foodnetwork.com)
2 T chili powder (I used a combo of regular and chipotle)
2 t kosher salt
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T ground black pepper
1 T dark brown sugar
2 t ground mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
4 lbs beef brisket
1.5 c beef stock
Combine dry spices and rub onto both sides of meat. Wrap in cling wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple-few hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Place brisket in a roasting pan, fat side up, and roast for one hour. Reduce heat to 250, cover pan tightly with foil, and cook for 5 or so more hours, checking after four to gauge tenderness.
I concocted a BBQ sauce to serve with it–not sure what all I ended up putting in it, so I can’t help you there.
These were a big hit at the office Christmas party, so I made some for the birthday party. The youngest and oldest guests regarded them with suspicion, so if you are cooking for people between the ages of 18 and 75, it should be ok.
The cheddar thumbprint recipe I used is available here ( I don’t use the pecans, as I think it detracts from the cheddar flavor.) Don’t skimp on the quality of the cheese (I usually use a couple different cheddars), and use hot jalapeno jelly for best results.
This is my favorite guacamole recipe, which I’ve made for other occasions and it’s always popular. My family laughed at me for making a bucket of it, but they damn near ate all of it!