Technique: smoke – braise – dip. Meat: buffalo/beef rolled brisket. Finish: brioche bun, brisket slice, bbq sauce, gherkins and a bbq slaw. Winner: whoever gets their hands on those burgers first!
I was inspired to give try this after a trip to the Hampshire Farmers’ Market. After the success of the roast water buffalo I’d been looking to give some different buffalo cuts a go and the Broughton Water Buffalo stall had a lovely looking rolled brisket. A few hours later, with a couple of messages sent out to willing guinea pigs, I began to plan the cook.
I only had a very small brisket, 1.2 kg’s, and was a little concerned about it drying out over a low’n’slow cook. A quick message to Marcus Bawdon and he suggested I look at the smoke – braise – dip method: smoke until you have a good bark – braise with a liquid of your choice (stock, beer or wine, etc) – dip the finished meat into your braising liquor as a sauce/gravy.
So, technique decided, I gathered together what I’d need. It soon became apparent 1.2kg of buffalo brisket wouldn’t be enough for those coming so after a quick trip to the local butcher, we thought a little taste test would be appropriate – buffalo vs beef brisket – and I returned with 1.2kg rolled beef brisket. Same rub for both – anything would do but we went for our basic backyard bbq rub (to add a lovely depth of flavour to the bark and gravy).
For the braising liquid Marcus suggested an ale, so I dug up a couple of bottles of Fursty Ferret and decided to add a splash of Jim Bean Bourbon for a little extra.
Finally, a few ingredients to make the perfect brisket burger: hard to beat a brioche bun and I wanted to top our brisket slice with gherkins and a slaw, finished off with either the gravy or some homemade bbq sauce.
Everything ready, I lit my Big Joe at 8am ready for food to go on at 9 and ready for dinner around 6pm. The smoke – braise – dip technique worked beautifully. Amazing depth of flavour with a great bark and lovely flavour.
The buffalo was the definite winner here. Melt-in-the-mouth tender and dripping with moisture, it had a similar flavour to the beef but was a much higher quality cut¹. I would definitely recommend Broughton Water Buffalo if you want to try something a little different.
¹ try to find the highest quality well marbled brisket you can. Makes such a difference to the end result!
what you’ll need
Equipment: bbq/smoker – I use my Kamado Joe (Big Joe). Roasting dish. Saucepan and mixing bowls (for the bbq sauce and slaw).
brisket pot roast:
- small buffalo brisket (rolled) – I used 1.2kg but would work up to 2-3 kg
- small beef brisket (rolled) – again I had 1.2kg but larger would still work
- bbq dry rub
- 2 onions, quartered and broken apart
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 bottle Fursty Ferret
- 100ml Jim Bean bourbon
for the brisket burger:
- pickled gherkins, thinly sliced
- bbq slaw
- bbq sauce
- gravy – reserved braising liquid
- brioche buns
Light up your bbq/smoker and bring it up to 120C – 130C indirect.
Liberally season your brisket/s on all sides with the bbq rub. If you haven’t got a shaker I find the easiest way is to sprinkle the rub across a chopping board and then roll the meat over it.
Scatter your onions and garlic across a baking dish. Lay your brisket/s on top. Place the baking dish on your grill and smoke for around 5 hours.
…5 hours later…
Pour in the braising liquid and wrap in foil before going back on the grill. Cook until the internal temperature reads 96C (the meat should be as soft as butter when probed) . Roughly 3 – 4 hours – here it was 3 but a larger joint will take longer.
Remove from the grill and rest for 30 minutes in the braising liquid.
Remove from the liquid and rest for a further 15 minutes.
To make the brisket burger:
Slice your brioche buns in half and baste the insides with oil/melted butter. In a dry pan over medium/high heat, toast the buns for 30 seconds or so (be careful not to burn them).
Cut your brisket into thick slices…
…and make your burger:
Botton half of the bun, brisket slices, bbq sauce/gravy (your choice), gherkins, bbq slaw, top half of the bun!