Slow-smoked brisket is super flavorful, and when cooked properly, it's so tender and juicy. There are so many ways to serve it: as the entrée on a barbecue plate, on a bun for a fast sandwich or even sprinkled on pizzas and nachos.
The Main Course
Sliced, smoked brisket is served either on its own, with other smoked meats like barbecued ribs and chicken or with a variety of sides. In the Deep South, the sides are almost as important as the barbecued meats. Sides may vary across regions, but some standards are stewed collard greens, vinegary or creamy coleslaw, pinto beans cooked until they melt in your mouth, soft, white rolls and creamy potato salads. Less traditional accompaniments include onions rings, french fries, hush puppies, buttery cornbread, deep-fried cornbread and deep fried pickles.
A smoked brisket sandwich is a simple and satisfying way to enjoy this juicy meat. Once cooked, the brisket is sliced thinly across the grain and stacked on a bun. In some cases, it's dressed with barbecue sauce or gravy and grilled or raw sliced onions. A Mexican take on this sandwich includes refried beans, sliced avocado, lettuce and mayonnaise. To spice things up, add sliced pickled jalapenos or a dash or two of hot pepper sauce.
If there are only small pieces of brisket left, toss them into a bean and tomato chili or sprinkle them onto pizza or nachos. In these cases, the smoked brisket acts more as a flavoring agent than as the primary focus.
David Grimes has worked professionally as a chef since 2002, in settings as wide-ranging as a corporate caterer and as a sous chef in a Michelin-starred French restaurant. He has been writing about food since 2009 and published in "Time Out New York" and "Food and Wine" magazine.