A brisket

A brisket

Beef brisket is a relatively inexpensive, yet highly versatile cut of meat. It’s equally at home in a pastrami or corned beef sandwich as it is on Christmas and Chanukah holiday tables. When cooked correctly, brisket is tender and delicious.

Brisket comes from the area of cows or steers ages two and up, or veal ages two to four months, according to the recipe and cooking technique resource Food Fire Friends. The brisket can be found right above the leg in the area between the front legs. Brisket is essentially the lower chest, or pectoral region of the animal, responsible for holding up the weight of the cow. As a result, this is a dense and tough muscle area with a lot of connective tissue.

Thanks to its density, brisket requires long cooking times at relatively low temperatures to produce a tender, boldly flavored beef dish. Brisket is best smoked or braised, which means simmered in a small amount of liquid. Most briskets will have a layer of fat on the surface. Better Homes and Gardens magazine says that this should be sliced away before preparing the brisket.

Try using brisket in place of a rump roast in this recipe for “Beef Roast with Dark Rum Sauce” from “Crock-Pot® 365 Year-Round Recipes” (Publications International, Ltd.) from The Crock-Pot Kitchens. Keep in mind that brisket will require long cooking times in a slow cooker and may need to be cut in half to fit into the pot.

Beef Roast With Dark Rum Sauce

Makes 6 servings

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 beef rump roast or beef brisket (about 3 pounds)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup dark rum, divided

1⁄2 cup beef broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 whole bay leaves, broken in half

1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1⁄4 cup lime juice

In a small bowl, combine allspice, salt, pepper, and cloves. Rub spices onto all sides of meat.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Sear beef on all sides, turning as it browns. Transfer to Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Add 1⁄2 cup rum, broth, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover; cook on low 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1⁄2 cup rum, brown sugar and lime juice, stirring well. Pour over roast. Continue cooking on low 4 to 6 hours for the rump roast (cook on high for 5 to 6 hours for brisket), or until beef is fork-tender. Baste beef occasionally with sauce. Remove and slice. Spoon sauce over beef to serve.

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