Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, smack in the middle of Texas hill country, is world-famous for its tender, mesquite-smoked brisket and tart barbecue sauce. Legend has it that German immigrant butchers took the unfavorable cut normally used in chili and slow-smoked it over low heat, resulting in an instant barbecue classic. For this version, make sure you have a reliable grill thermometer and keep a close eye on it throughout the cooking process.
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 6- to 7-pound trimmed beef brisket, patted dry
- 2/3 cup beef broth
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- Soak 3 cups wood chips in water according to the package directions or for 1 hour. Meanwhile, mix together 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper and the garlic powder; sprinkle all over the brisket.
- Remove the racks from the grill. Arrange a large drip pan or disposable baking sheet on one side of the grill to catch the drippings. Drain the wood chips and transfer to a 2-foot-long sheet of heavy-duty foil. Wrap tightly, creating a secure pouch, then poke 10 holes in the top to create a smoker box. Place the pouch on the side of the grill opposite the drippings pan. Set the racks in place, close the grill and preheat to 350 degrees .
- Arrange the brisket, fat side up, over the drip pan. Grill, covered, turning once, until lightly charred, about 30 minutes. Wrap with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil and return to the grill, fat side down. Lower the heat to 325 degrees and grill until fork-tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours. (Be careful when unwrapping the brisket, since there will be lots of juice inside the foil packet).
- In a medium saucepan, bring the beef broth, ketchup, vinegar and hot sauce to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Let the brisket rest, wrapped, for 30 minutes; carefully unwrap and pour the juices into a cup. Thinly slice the meat against the grain, arrange on a platter and pour the juices on top. Serve with the barbecue sauce on the side.
- Slicing against the grain brings out the mouthwatering tenderness of the beef--use the flat plane of the cut as a guide.