In order to plan this very complicated schedule and make sure we don't overwhelm the national park staff with our New Mexico presence we had everyone for dinner on Friday. Preparations for this event included cooking sixteen pounds of brisket, borrowing Chinese New Year decorations from friends, Vicki (a wonderful artist who purchased lots of Chinese art while there, and hopefully will let me share both her own work and some of those pieces with you in a later blog) and Peter who just returned from a three year assignment in China with Intel, arranging some flowers, and (gasp!) cleaning the house.
By request, here is my brisket recipe or rather photos of how to prepare a brisket for cooking.
|Purchase about 1/3 lb of center cut brisket for each person you want to serve.|
|Using a very sharp boning knife, trim off almost all of the visible fat. There will be enough fat that you cannot see to flavor and keep the brisket moist.|
|This is the fat I trimmed from 16 pounds of brisket..about 2 lbs.|
|Sprinkle 1/4 cup water & 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke over each pan of brisket.|
|Cover tightly with foil.|
|Bake in a 225 degree oven for 8 hours.|
This can be a challenge in an off-the-grid house. We need to plan ahead and choose a very sunny day for using the oven for this length of time so we don't deplete the batteries.
|Not much fat because of all that trimming.|
|Slice the meat across the grain and return to one of the pans.|
At this point, you have to wait for the fat to harden, so you would refrigerate the meat. Or if you did not plan ahead and need to serve immediately, you can skip refrigerating the juice and carefully remove the fat from the top of the juice with a ladle. Once the fat is gone (from the juice and your future waistline!) add a bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce to the juice, stir to combine, pour over the meat and reheat in a 350 degree oven.
|Brisket on the buffet.|