Bacon-Braised and Smoked Brisket of Beef
- 1 (3 to 4-pound) well-marbled beef brisket, preferably with 1/4-inch outer fat remaining
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Rib Rub, recipe follows
- 4 slices thick cut apple smoked bacon, diced
- 4 cups chopped yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup Emeril's Kick It Up Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer, to use as needed
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons hickory or mesquite smoking chips
- Rustic Rub:
- 8 tablespoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons cayenne
- 5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- 6 tablespoons salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
Preheat the broiler to high. Place the brisket in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or small roasting pan just large enough to hold the brisket and rub the brisket on all sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle on all sides with 4 teaspoons of the Rib Rub and place under the broiler. Broil until well browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove from the oven.
While the brisket is browning in the oven, heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium high heat and cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until onions are lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes longer. Add the remaining Rib Rub, tomatoes, chili sauce, brown sugar, beef broth, pepper sauce, and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot sauce over the brisket and cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Return to the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and cook the brisket, removing every hour from the oven to turn to the other side, until brisket is fork tender, about 4 hours. Do not allow the braising liquid to evaporate to lower than halfway up the brisket; add the beer as needed to return the liquid to the proper level. You should have used the entire beer by the time the brisket is cooked.
When the brisket is fork-tender, take it from the oven and remove the brisket from the braising liquid. Set brisket aside to cool briefly while preparing the stovetop smoker.
Prepare a cast iron stovetop smoker according to manufacturer's directions using the smoking chips. When the smoker begins to smoke, place the brisket on the rack and close the lid. Smoke the brisket over medium-low heat for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour. While the brisket is smoking, transfer the braising liquid to a large saute pan or skillet, skim any fat that has accumulated on the surface of the liquid, add the cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced to "barbecue sauce consistency", stirring frequently, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to serve the brisket. (Sauce is best served warm.)
Remove the brisket from the smoker and set aside to cool slightly before carving. Slice across the grain using a very sharp slicing knife or an electric knife and serve with some of the sauce.Rustic Rub:
Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.
Yield: 2 1/4 cup