Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prep work

Getting ready for the big dinner on Saturday. I stopped at Fairway and picked up 6 lbs of brisket, a bottle of liquid smoke (this is an experiment), 9 lbs of sweet potatoes and 6 boxes of jiffy cornbread mix. I'm going to need to do a little research on the sweet potato side to see what is going to work timing wise with only one crockpot. The plan is to cook the brisket overnight on Friday and then switch to sweet potatoes in the afternoon on Saturday.

First step is to trim most of the visible fat off the meat. You want a little bit to keep it moist during cooking, but most butchers leave a fair amount on. I just use a small knife and trim away as much fat as I can. With brisket, similar to pork shoulder, there is a layer of fat on top which can pretty close to 1/4 inch thick sometimes. Just cut it down as best you can and you'll be fine.

Marinating your meat for as long as possible can only make things better. For this reason I'm going to marinate my brisket for a full 24 hours in the below mixture:

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
4 teaspoons of water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon of molasses (to be honest I really I'm not sure what molasses are, but it's a common ingredient in BBQ so I'm giving it a shot)

I put the brisket in a large bowl and then poured this mixture over the meat and turn it over 20 times to make sure it soaked up as much liquid as possible. I then drained the remaining liquid out and then liberally applied a good 3 or 4 tablespoons of the new rub I got a Penzey's in Grand Central (it is called American BBQ). Like marinating, be generous with the rub as it is pretty hard to have too much.

Once finished just wrap the meat up in two plastic bags (to avoid leaks) and marinate away until tomorrow when it will be time to cook.

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