Saturday, January 15, 2011

You Can't Win 'Em All

My first brisket attempt
There's a local restaurant around these parts that we love to frequent. When friends come to visit, we go there for happy hour. When our parents come to visit, we go there for dinner. When my contracting position became a full-time job, we went there to celebrate. The husband and I love this restaurant. We've tried just about everything on the menu by now, and we've never had a bad meal there. But we both have our favorites: He likes the ribs; I like the brisket. So, last weekend when the husband suggested we buy a brisket, I couldn't help but think my prayers would be answered if I could make my very own melt-in-your-mouth brisket.

Well, tonight's dinner didn't look so bad, did it? Unfortunately, it didn't taste anything like the brisket I've come to know and love at our favorite eatery. I thought I'd cook our brisket similarly to a pot roast - with carrots, onions and celery, low and slow in the oven. All of the recipes I found, though, called for a cut of meat weighing five or six times as much as our piece did. (We thought we were doing such a great thing buying a one-pound brisket: It'd feed us perfectly, and we wouldn't have to worry about wasting leftovers.)

After 30 minutes covered in our 375-degree oven, the brisket was tough. Actually, that's probably an understatement. I felt like I was sawing through the brisket when I cut into it to see how it looked. What I found most frustrating was that the recipe I was (loosely) following said I should cook the brisket for a while, then slice it and cook it more. When I reached the mid-way point, though, our brisket already looked done, and I couldn't believe it'd get better if I let it cook longer. But I tried it anyway.

Our brisket cooked a good 45 minutes before I gave up. I took it out and put my muscles to work cutting slabs of meat for the husband and myself. I knew as soon as I cut it that it wasn't going to taste like the brisket of my dreams.

"Don't be mad if I turn into a vegetarian in a matter of minutes," the husband told me as he hesitantly looked at his plate. He took a couples of bites and soon settled on carrots and the rosemary potatoes I served on the side. I ate my fair share of celery, carrots and onions, and I pushed all of the meat off to the sides: a pile for the garbage and a small pile for the dog man.

All in all, I'll give myself credit for trying, but I don't think I'll be trying brisket again anytime soon. Actually, I think the husband may need to take me out soon so I can wipe this awful brisket memory from my mind. 


  1. Kudos to you for even attempting such an endeavor! You win some, you lose some.

    And, of course, I'm curious about which restaurant you guys love!

  2. I feel like it's a tad bit cliche, but we love Calhoun's. We love their beer, and we've seriously never left there hungry. :)

  3. I have definitely had those moments! Brisket is definitely a difficult piece of meat to get just right. I'm actually going to be trying out a brisket recipe I found soon (will let you know how it Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm your newest follower :)

  4. I just bought a brisket from the farm where we get our meat...I'm very nervous about it. It seems intimidating to cook! I think the key is to cook it on low for a reaaaaaaally long time. I'm going to do some searching for recipes. I'll let you know if I find one that actually works!

  5. I've never heard of a one-pound brisket, honestly. Even if I had that small a size, I'd probably have cooked it for at least an hour. The few times I've made it, I've done it on the grill. If you try again, look for a Southerner's recipe (especially a Texan). I'd head over to He's awesome.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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