Beef brisket, 1-1½# per adult, but don’t try less than a 7 pounder (however much yer want -- 15-16# makes a feast)
1-3 c. Texas Universal BBQ Sauce/Marinade (depending on how much meat there is)
Adolph’s meat tenderizer or similar brand using the ingredient papain
Trim off any really disgusting looking fat, but remember, we’s lookin for flavor, not the arteries of some 16 year old stud-muffin kid. Turn the meat fat-side up and cut score lines1/2”-3/4” apart, diagonally across the whole brisket through the fat, down to the meat. Similarly, slit through any membrane (eeeoooo!). Generously rub BBQ sauce into the slits and all over the surface. Turn ‘er over and place fat side down in a glass cake pan or porcelained roaster. Cover the lean side generously with the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 12 hours (this stuff eats foil).
After this marinating period wipe the residual sauce from the meat into the pan (try yer hand, but resist lickin it -- un fricasseed meat juices an all, ya know; and don’t pour it back into the bottle.). Save the sauce in the refrigerator for later. Lay the meat out on a board and sprinkle the surface very copiously (Reader’s Digest, October ‘83) with meat tenderizer. Stab the entire surface with a regular dinner fork, spacing the stabs 1/4”-1/2” apart, tryin to penetrate the full depth of the fork. Flip ‘er over and repeat the tenderizer & stabbin routine on the other side. Knock the old crud offin yer smoker & build a real serious mesquite fire (or, fer you yankees, that’s probly gonna havta be Kingsford charcoal, about 10#, in the (gag) Weber). Damp down the firebox (and push the coals all to the outside, Weber-heads) and put a loaf pan of water in the center no-coals area, or fill the smoker’s water pan. Cover the grill area with heavy foil in the area that the meat will cover. Grease, oil or Pam the foil. Put the meat, fat side down onto the foil & close the cooker. Iffin you has a cooker thermometer, we’s lookin fer 180-225 F as the stable cookin temperature. Smoke for about 4 hours, watchin & replenishin the water & coals as required. After them 4 hours, open the cooker & slather the meat with the sauce saved from the marinadin, adding fresh sauce iffin yer need it to cover all the meat. Keep that temperature down & let’er go to fork tender, about another 4-20 hours, depending on the size of the cow. You will have to do a bunch of coal & water restockin, re-saucin and maybe a bit of foil covering on thinner sections that are goin to crunchy before the thick end gets there. The meat should be fairly smoke-black all over, pull apart with a fork, and sample slices (its allowed ... blame it on the dog) should be tender in the middle, completely rimmed with a 1/8”-1/4” red “rind” (soaked through sauce & smoke) and knock-ya-down juicy & tasty.
Remove from smoker and slice across the grain (start at the pointed, thinner “tip” end, cutting so the tip is a little triangle, informing the crowd that it’s important that the chef sample this tip for edibility). Other than that tip, cut thin slices, no more than 1/8” thick. Your slicin angle will change as you move up the brisket and the grain orientation changes. Serve with heated Universal Sauce on the side (or over, under, sideways, down). This should yield the yummiest, fork-tender eating orgy yer ever chompped. Traditional other meal fare is potato salad, cole slaw, white bread, ranch-style beans, whole jalpeños & iced tea. Go nuts.
Originally posted 9/15/07
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