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Sous Vide: Beef Brisket Point, Smoked

The tougher the cut, the greater the benefit of sous vide processing.
Adding natural smoke to the profile only makes it more appealing!

sous vide brisket breakfast

Ingredients

Beef Brisket Point, approx. 3 lbs./1.5Kg.
Russet Potato, 1 ea. sous vide processed @183F/84Cx1 hour.

Biscuits, 1 per person, click this LINK  for the recipe.

Grapes, black seedless, 12 ea.
Cantaloupe, 1/4 ea.
Apricots, 2 ea.

Fruit Dressing: Blend until smooth:
Vegetable oil, 3 oz./90 ml.
White vinegar, 1 oz./30 ml.
Onion, fresh, 1 oz/30 g.
Mustard seed, 1 tsp/5 g ,
Sugar, 1 Tablespoon/10 g.
Fresh Mint, a few sprigs,
a pinch of salt.
.
Steak Sauce, Click HERE .
Cool Rub, Click HERE , as needed.

Country gravy
Bacon, 3 oz./90 g.
Flour, 1 T/8 g
Milk, 1 cup/240 ml.
Black pepper, a pinch.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flour shaker or fine meshed strainer.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Kitchen tongs, metal.
Wooden spoon or wire whisk.
Infrared or probe thermometer.

Serves 4-6
Level of difficulty 3

Procedure:

Remove the brisket from it’s packaging and lay on a clean towel. Dry well. Separate the point from the flat as shown–most butchers will do this for you for a price. It basically amounts to following a thick layer of fat that separates them. Doing it yourself usually offers a reduction in overall cost. You can see in the fourth picture how coarse the grain is on the point. Seal it in a Ziploc or vacuum bag.

Process the brisket point via sous vide at
140 F/60 C for 48 hours.

Make sure your package is fully submerged for the entire duration. You may have to lay it down in the rack instead of standing it up. After processing, remove from the tank and shock in iced water until it achieves 70 F/21 C.. Refrigerate the brisket overnight so that it can fully achieve 40 F/4 C. Lay the bag on a rack so that you can remove the roast from the bag. If the juices have thickened, wipe them off or put the whole package in hot tap water for five minutes to melt the gel. Save the juices and pat the brisket dry.

Apply the rub listed in the ingredients window or use your own. I like to put the brisket in a Lipavi rack so that the rub doesn’t get dislodged by contact with the pan. If you like a lot of rub, you can paint the meat with egg white before sprinkling/rolling. Drizzle with Dark Side or B2 sauce.

From 3 lbs./1.4 Kg of meat, we got almost 2 cups/500 ml of juices. Today we will set it aside, but click here to see how to utilize it. You will see recipes on this site that call for it.

Smoke

Hot smoke the brisket at
225 F/107 C  for 2-3 hours.

Leave the lid closed for at least 2 hours. Repeated opening of the lid satisfies our curiosity but it also reduces the temperature in the smoker drastically. It takes a long time to recover. It cannot burn at this temperature. Once it achieves its “bark” the internal temperature should be approximately 140 F/60 C. At this point it can be removed from the smoker and served if desired. Give it a few minutes to cool; this makes it easier to handle.

If you plan to serve cold or next day, put the brisket in a Ziploc bag, shock cold to 70 F/21 C and refrigerate to 40 F/21 C. All food benefits from being handled this way and it saves electricity because the refrigerator is not designed to cool hot food safely.

Biscuits
I use the recipe listed on the little can of baking powder. Where it says “shortening or butter,” I weigh out that much marrow if I have it.

The bones almost always arrive frozen, which is a good thing. They spoil rather quickly. Simply defrost them and chip out the marrow with a knife or spoon.

Some people are a little squeamish about marrow but they are the same people who enjoy butter on toast. The fact is chemically, there is very little difference between the two.

Potatoes

Sous vide process a Russet potato at
183 F/84 C   for 1 hour,

Shock the potato in iced water and refrigerate at 40 F/4 C. Peel the potato, dust with flour, roll in egg white, and then roll in the Cool Rub mixture. Roast at
350 F/176 C.

Fruit Salad

Cut the grapes in half and chop the fruit to about the same size. Toss in a little of the special dressing.

Presentation

Pitmasters like to hang slices of the brisket over their fingers to demonstrate the proper tenderness. I decided to use the Lipavi rack to do this. As you can see, the meat is appropriately “droopy.”

I did two presentations for this dish. For my wife:

The fruit salad really kicks up the color and over all flavor sensation.

The controversy over sauce, no sauce, thick sauce, thin sauce, will never be settled. It varies not only by region, not only by state, but by county in the American south. We will not attempt to settle the debate. I make no claims of authenticity. This is just how I made it this time.

Sous Vide and Hot Smoking/BBQ seem to have been meant for each other, a marriage made in heaven between tradition and technology. Who would have thunk it?

Early the Next Day:

Brisket is very versatile in its application. The next morning there were still a few pieces of brisket remaining–I don’t call things “leftovers.” That name implies that they are not as good as they were the day before. I was glad to be the early riser in the household. This was my breakfast…

Fry the bacon until rendered and remove excess oil. Add a scant 1 Tablespoon flour, stir, add 1 cup/240 ml whole milk and a pinch of black pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, and add salt as needed–1-2 teaspoons.

Meanwhile, toast 2 of the marrow biscuits in the broiler of your oven with a little butter on them. Pour the sauce over the biscuits, except for about an oz./30 ml.

Lay the brisket on top and heat with a propane torch or return to oven. Put the last bit of sauce on top.

We took a light-hearted approach to this recipe. It was really fun putting this together and I love me some brisket. I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned for upcoming recipes for the flat, and other cool applications of sous vide and barbecue!

Norm King

About

Beef briskets can be acquired whole or divided into two different cuts. These are generically referred to as the "point" and the "flat." The two cuts are actually quite different in texture, but can be cooked as one piece. For the purposes of this recipe, we are going to use the point and save the flat for another upcoming recipe.

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