You can't make real Texas Hill Country-style brisket unless you've got Texas beef, a rack of post oak, a serious smoker and preferably many years of experience. It is possible, however, to come up with a reasonable facsimile, using a standard wood-burning barbecue with a cover.
- 1 beef brisket, fat cap left on (3.5kg-4kg)
- Hickory or mesquite chips
- Charcoal briquettes
- 1Using a sharp knife, trim the fat cap horizontally so that no more than about 7mm remains.
- 2Blot brisket dry with absorbent paper, then generously season both sides. Wrap meat in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- 3Soak two handfuls of woodchips in a large bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.
- 4Meanwhile, prepare a kettle barbecue, such as a Weber, by centrally positioning a disposable aluminium baking tray half-filled with water in the bottom under the grill. Light 3 or 4 handfuls of charcoal and arrange them around the tray. Allow the charcoal to burn down to hot embers, then scatter the damp woodchips over the smouldering embers. Unwrap the brisket and place it, fat side up, on the grill in the centre over the tray of water, checking that no part of the meat is positioned directly over the charcoal, then cover the barbie.
- 5Add more charcoal every 45 minutes to an hour, allowing it to ignite on the old embers before they burn out. Add more woodchips when the new embers have burned down a little. Refill the pan with water if it boils away. Repeat this process for 6 hours.
- 6Remove the brisket, which will have shrunk to about two-thirds of its original size, and wrap it tightly in foil. Add more charcoal, but no more woodchips, to the barbecue and return the wrapped brisket to the grill. Cover the barbie and cook for a further hour.
- 7Remove the wrapped brisket from the barbie, then wrap it in several layers of newspaper. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- 8Unwrap the brisket and cut it into thin slices. Place them on a plate and drizzle any juices over them that have collected in the foil, then serve with sliced white bread and, if you like, your favourite barbecue sauce.
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