Some people plan their meals before heading to the shops. I, on the other hand, belong to the other group of "some people" who usually plan my meals according to what I have. My freezer is usually full of an assortment of meat cuts and joints among other things. Faced with a beef brisket joint, there are a lot of ideas that come to mind. Being of Asian origin, my inclinations tend to veer towards that direction.
On occasion, like now, I hear voices. For real, not just in my head. Someone suggests barbecue beef. I have to comply, but not fully. I was already imagining certain flavours and I was craving to actually taste them. To make everyone happy, I made an Asian flavoured barbecue beef brisket.
I didn't ask for a poll. I was quietly doing my thing. But the voices persisted, different ones this time. "We have to have slaw", said the voices in unison. "Like the one we ate at the barbecue joint", solo this time. "No... Asian slaw," solo again but from a different entity. So the slaw too was half and half: slaw with just a slight Asian twist from spring onions and soy sauce, just to keep both voices quiet.
All boxes ticked, we ate in silence.
1 1/2 kg. beef brisket
1 c. cola
2 tbsps. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped spring onions
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. Japanese soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsps. chilli oil (or to taste)
Stab the beef with the sharp tip of a knife in several places to help the marinade penetrate the meat.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a dish that's big enough to hold the joint, preferably one with a lid.
Lay the beef on the marinade and distribute the bits (onions etc.) around, under and on top of it. Put the lid on or cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 400° F/200° C. Transfer the brisket to an oven pan and pour the marinade over it. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 350° F/180° C and bake for further 2 1/2 hours or until the brisket is very tender but not falling apart.
Finish on a barbecue or grill for 10 minutes on each side just to give it a smoky flavour. Let it rest before slicing thinly.
Serve on buns with the barbecue sauce and slaw. French fries, potato chips or fresh salad are suitable sides.
This recipe will make 6-8 servings.
Drippings from the brisket
1/2 c. cola
1/2 c. tomato catsup
By the time the brisket is done, the marinade would have reduced to about 3/4 c. Pour off the oil that has collected on the surface and transfer the thick sauce to a sauce pan. Add the cola and catsup. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. This is now ready to be served with the brisket.
4 c. of shredded cabbage and carrots
1 c. of mayonnaise
1 tbsp. of sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsps. spring onions
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
Mix everything together. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving with the brisket sandwiches.
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