The Hampstead Butcher & Providore

Brisket Done Right

Posted Monday 13th February 2017

A month ago one of our regular customers contacted us to collaborate on a brisket project. The brief was easy; source a piece of prime British beef brisket (which comes from the lower chest of the cow) and let it hang, dry and age for 28 days, then bone and deliver to the chef along with plenty of aged beef off cuts. So we cared for and monitored that piece of beef, as we do all of our dry-aged beef until it was in absolutely prime condition.

From our stewardship to the chef, who applied his own coffee cure dry rub. The smoker was fired up at 3am and the chef just walked away for 15 hours. The result was magnificent, with the most blackened pieces being added to the home made bbq beans  and served with crusty bread, freshly made chimchurri sauce and baby broccoli stems laced with red pepper threads.

Brisket is a classic choice for slow cooking or smoking - a fattier cut that ensures that the flavours intensify during the long cooking process achieving that very special texture where the meat falls off the bone, which can only be achieved by slow cooking these types of cuts. What’s more, these cuts are cheaper than the rest and the slower cooking process is far more relaxed - everyones a winner  Timings are more flexible and the cooking can be done and checked when it suits the cook. Walk the dog, go to the pub, watch a film, do all three! You’re not tied to the pan or the oven.

If you really want to produce the classic winter warmer then you’ll not go far wrong with this or any other slow cook classic. Wash down with a decent medium-bodied red like an outstanding Côtes Du Rhône.

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika(sweet not spicy)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2kg/4lb 4oz whole piece of Beef Brisket
  • 400ml/14fl oz beef stock


For the brisket, put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes, taking care not to burn them. Allow to cool.

Once cooled, add the spices to a pestle and mortar and crush to a powder. Add the sugar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and mix together.

Score the inside of the beef with a sharp knife and rub the spice mix all over the joint, inside and out. Roll the joint up and tie securely in several places using kitchen string. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Place the brisket on a wire rack inside a roasting tray and pour the beef stock around the outside. Cover the whole tray with aluminium foil to prevent any moisture escaping. Place in the oven to cook slowly for 4-6 hours, occasionally checking that the liquid hasn’t evaporated. Add some water if it looks low.

After 4-6 hours the beef should be soft and tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the aluminium foil for 25 minutes. Reserve any cooking juices.

Shred the Beef with a fork whilst still warm, moisten with retained cooking juices, store/reheat as required.



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