We all know brisket. It’s that tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat that’s typically smoked for hours on end and is always one of the most popular items at any BBQ joint. But what is brisket point? This is the question I was faced with while recently checking out the meat section in my grocery store. I was excited to see anything at all with the word “brisket” on it, as this isn’t typically something you’ll find around my parts (unless you go to one of the aforementioned BBQ joints.) But what I was looking at wasn’t just brisket, it was “brisket point.” And what in the heck was that? For the time being, it was something that was added to my grocery cart so I could take it home and do some further research.
What I didn’t know was that brisket is one cut of meat that’s typically separated by a thick vein of fat running across one end. One of those sections is known as “the flat,” and this is the portion most of us have stared down at some point. While still fatty, it’s much leaner than the other section, and is a flat (as the name would suggest) rectangular shape. On the other side of that section however, is the brisket point, the thing I had brought home not really knowing what it was at all. The point is more of a triangle, although mine was rolled up and tied up like a short but thick log. The point contains much more fat in it, and is the more economical of the two cuts (which, besides being some type of brisket, is what made me buy it in the first place.) So now I knew what the two different parts of brisket were. The question still remained though – what was I supposed to do with it?
Traditionally, brisket – any cut of brisket – is smoked, and there are purists that will tell you you’re ruining either part by braising it. But no longer having a smoker (and currently out of wood chips to turn my grill into one,) braising was really the only choice I had, and I will tell you this. Braised brisket point is one of the best pieces of meat I’ve brought to my dinner table in awhile.
1 brisket point that’s been rolled and tied $10.10
1/2 can tomatoes, with 1/2 of the juice $0.95
1 onion, cut in half and then sliced $0.47
3 cloves garlic, sliced $0.03
2 sprigs fresh thyme $0.40
2 sprigs fresh rosemary $0.40
1/2 cup white wine $1.57
2 tablespoons butter $0.12
2 tablespoons canola oil $0.14
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.02
Total cost $14.22
Cost per serving $3.55
1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.) Sprinkle the brisket point with salt and pepper and place a skillet over medium-high heat. Place butter and canola oil in the skillet and when both have melted together, place brisket point into the skillet. Sear on all sides to brown. When entire brisket point has been seared, move to a roasting pan and turn heat under skillet to medium.
3.) Add onions and garlic to the skillet and stir. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, just until onions have started to soften. Add tomatoes along with their juice, and white wine. Stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to remove all brown bits from the bottom. Add thyme, rosemary, a bit of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook for just 1 or 2 minutes and then pour over brisket point in the roasting pan.
4.) Add enough water to the roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the meat. Cover, and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the meat can be pulled apart with two forks.
5.) Place brisket point on the cutting board or plate and strain the contents of the roasting pan into a saucepan. Discard larger items and place brisket point back into the roasting pan (this will make it easier to rest, as you can simply replace the lid.) Place saucepan with cooking liquid in it over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, make a slurry by combining the all-purpose flour and water in a glass and whisking vigorously with a fork. When cooking liquid begins boiling, whisk in the slurry. Stir and when it begins to thicken, lower heat to medium or medium-low.
6.) When the meat has rested for about 10 minutes, remove to a cutting board and slice across into thin strips. Place on a serving platter and spoon a bit of gravy over top to keep it moist and flavourful. Place the remaining gravy in a gravy boat to be served at the table.
7.) Serve and enjoy!