Monday, September 2

Slow-Roast Brisket over Almond Wood (part 3)


The Hero Hot Links
When last I posted, I was feeling pretty confident that the brisket would be done properly. I added more heat at around 11:15 and the temperature really stabilized. After awhile, I was getting nervous about over-roasting - my Mom was on the phone telling me I should check the temperature. But I didn't want to start poking lots of holes in the meat. Finally at about 11:45, I gave in  and checked the temp. It was well past my target 145° so I pulled it off and whisked it into the kitchen.  I shifted the meat to a baking stone to rest so I could re-position the grill again quickly.
The hot links took the brisket's place and roasted on the residual embers. If I'd had any fresh peaches or pineapple, I would have added those to the edges over the coals. It seemed such a waste not to have more on the grill now that the fire was so perfect and the smoke smelled so sweet.
Back in the kitchen, I sliced into the brisket, pulled off a slice and posed it for this picture, then ate it up. 
Tender and delicious - but, oh my, too salty!

The Finished Brisket
I was immediately grateful that I had my back-up links and plentiful sides...I wondered what I was going to do with six pounds of salty beef...I could slice it really thin and call it bacon...and most of all, I really hoped that the moment's rest atop the brisket had "contaminated" that tasting slice.
In the end, it was all good. The brisket rested all afternoon. My friends arrived promptly and we sipped margaritas and Mexican Coke and munched peach salsa and chips in the garden. When we sliced up the brisket and links and sat down for the real test - we were all smiles.  Happy munching all around the table. And to capit off, we had Phill and Annmarie's killer Goat Cheese Cake with Tequila-Pineapple Jam. It was all too delicious to think about making a picture.

An interesting thing happened after my guests departed for the long drive home. I was cleaning up the kitchen (a simple task because of all the advance preparation) and revisiting the flavors of the evening as I packed leftovers for storage, sopping out this and that serving bowl with leftover slices of baguette. There was the foil "tray" that had held the brisket on the grill and captured the jus. It was black and brown and greasy and I started picking at the burned bits and swiping at the brown residue. They were umami treats.

On Monday, Janet John and I trotted out the same dishes for lunch under the jacaranda tree with our neighbor, another John. It was all still good. This  time, we finished with figs from the tree just behind me, a perfect light dessert. But, inside cleaning up, I missed the cake.

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