Brisket Sandwiches and Best Friends

By 300 Sandwiches

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brisket2LOIt’s slow cooker season at my house. One good reason to bring out the Crock-Pot is to cook for friends.

The best man at our wedding lives down the street from us, and two of our other good friends just moved to the neighborhood. We love having them close—it means impromptu weekday cocktails after work and no cabs to pile into afterwards. We can all walk, or stumble, home together!

E and I hosted Friday night dinner at our place, and I popped in this brisket for beefy, easy sandwiches for the gang. I’ve made brisket sandwiches before, using this recipe and this version, but with the temperature falling and leaves changing, I was craving it. The had a great recipe, which I tweaked a bit for my version below. I also made homemade barbecue sauce from Gimme Some Oven.

We spooned shredded beef and onions on toasty slider rolls while we laughed at silly Australian YouTube videos, and planned out our winter snowboarding schedule. Our friends joked about their neighbors being able to see them walk around in their underwear because they haven’t put up curtains yet. Our buddies helped with the dishes before walking home. Another ideal Friday night. And there was still beef left over on Saturday.

*adapted from
1 medium red onion
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 3-pound beef brisket
1 1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons Worchesteshire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup red wine (cheap red wine. Save the good stuff for dinner.)
salt and pepper

In a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly.

While the onions are cooking, pat dry brisket and season the meat with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat a separate large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket for a minute or two inch side until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in your slow-cooker bowl, fatty side up.(If your piece of brisket is too large, you can slice it in half along the grain and place in the cooker. It’s what I did. It cooked up fine.)

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. When the onions are lightly browned, pile them on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, cinnamon and red wine and pour into the slow-cooker.

Cover and cook in the slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the brisket is very tender. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Shred the brisket in the bowl, and scoop out onto buns with onions, or add barbecue sauce.
You can let the meat cool then refrigerate overnight. Before reheating, scrape away and discard the layer of fat that has formed around the meat.

*from Gimme Some Oven
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
(optional: a few pinches of cayenne powder for extra heat, which I recommend)

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Use immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

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