A Tale of Two Briskets Part 1

This is a tale of two briskets, actually it’s two halves of the same brisket. I was craving a good brisket but I could not decide how I wanted to cook it.  Did I want a traditional barbeque or did I want to make a New Mexican style red chile brisket?  I decided to wait and see what briskets they had at my local Sam’s before I made a decision that could ruin my entire weekend.
So, I’m at Sam’s perusing my favorite section, the meat case.  And then I spotted it, actually there was beam of sunlight shining down on it and I swear  I heard angels singing, a 19lb brisket.  This had to be one of the biggest hunks of beef I’d ever seen.  It was the “beef de resistance” I was looking for. 
Nice Smoke Ring

On my way home, I was so happy with my meat purchase that I forgot all about cooking time.  Using my rule of 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound at 225F it was going to take 24 hours to cook.  Now I love to spend my weekends cooking but not the whole freaking weekend. Fortunately, I was able to employ the divide and conquer technique, cutting the brisket in half. Two smaller briskets cook faster than one big brisket, it’s some thermodynamics thing, I don’t really know, I failed chemistry.  So my dilemma was solved, I would cook two briskets, one with red chile and the other barbeque rub.

For some reason, I decided to smoke the briskets overnight.  I don’t know what I was thinking; I must have been deliriously tired.  I’ve never had any problems with the overnight cook, until now.  I put the briskets on the egg and set the vents, the temp read 225F.  Before bed I did one last check of the egg and everything looked good.  What I overlooked was turning the vents down to account for increase in air as the charcoal burned down.  Less charcoal, more air = more heat.  When I woke up 6 hours later the temperature gauge read 350F and my briskets were done, a little overdone.  Rut-rho!  I violated the first (and most important) rule of BBQ, low and slow. I cut a test piece off and it looked good, really nice smoke ring, tasted good, the bark was a little dark but for the most part I dodged a bullet, it was still edible.

Briskets, a little charred but otherwise OK.
Because my brisket was already done I had to change up my red chile brisket recipe.  I had to improvise another way to cook the red chile sauce into the brisket. What I ended up doing was slicing the brisket, placing it in a dish, covering it with the red chile sauce, and then baking it in the oven for an hour.  This was not the vision I had for this dish, but it worked.

Red Chile Sauce over brisket
This meal starts with a bed of thick sliced fried potatoes, topped with the tender brisket and a heaping spoon of the red chile sauce for good measure, topped with sharp cheddar cheese.  After taking that first big bite I forgot all about the trials and tribulations of the day.  All of the flavors I was shooting for were there, the red chile sauce absorbed the smoky flavor from the beef and just elevated it to a whole new level.  Not to mention, beef and fried potatoes, what’s not to love about that?? I’ll tell you if I ever open AlbuKirky The Restaurant, this will be my house specialty.

I was so worried this meal was going to be a disaster and all I would have to blog about was a big hot mess. When the smoke had cleared and the dust had settled, my red chile brisket tasted as good as I expected it too.  I do believe I learn more from my mistakes than my successes, but success is a lot less stressful.  If you want to see how I made this the first time, you can check out my Chile Con Brisket post. Oh, the other half is sitting in my fridge, more about that later.  

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