Pulled, barbecue brisket is deliciously dirty

If you want fine dining, look away now.

This dish drags Great British Beef out into the streets.

It turns a cheap cut oozingly tender. Its sweet, fatty richness slaps you round the face at every bite. You will coo with pleasure.

 First, the beef. You need a decent slab of brisket, a cut from the animal’s breast. This 1.3kg fed more than 10 comfortably.

Beef brisket

The night before you want to eat, apply the spice rub.

Mix some dark brown sugar, cumin, coriander, black pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Cut the strings off the brisket, unwind and score the inside with a sharp knife. Rub in the spice blend all over.


Once all sides are well-covered, roll up the brisket and tie with string.

Cover the joint in cling film, stick it in the fridge and leave overnight. This lets those hot, earthy flavours sink into the meat.


The next day, when ready to cook, unwrap the brisket. Pop it on a rack inside a roasting tray and fill the outside with beef stock.

Put foil over the top to lock-in the moisture, then cook for more than four hours. About 160C/Gas 3 will do.


When the brisket’s cooked, take it out the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes. It should be moist, almost falling apart.

Cut the string then grab two forks. You need to pull the meat apart.


Now the real, filthy indulgence.

Make your barbecue sauce. Reduce white wine vinegar, before adding ketchup, brown sugar, cola and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the beef juices, too. Simmer for 15 minutes.

When ready, return your pulled beef to the roasting tray and put it on the hob. Empty the sauce all over and stir over the heat for a few minutes.

See also: Gather your friends for Greek-style marinated beef kebabs

When you can hold back no more, plate up. Drape some dripping beef into a brioche bun and top with coleslaw. Serve on greaseproof paper.

Levis and background Springsteen are optional.

It takes time. It’s hardly healthy. And it’s more United States than United Kingdom. But our Atlantic cousins really know how to treat great meat.

God bless America. And God bless British Beef.


Great British Beef Week 2015 (23 April – 3 May) is an initiative organised by Ladies in Beef. Promote British beef, share pictures or recipes of your favourite beef dinner on Twitter with the hashtag #BeefItUp.

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