Friday, October 24, 2014

Smoked Brisket Sliders, A Tailgate, and El Diablo Giveaway

One important rule about tailgating is to always have a Plan B.  

El Diablo Mustard offered to sponsor one of our tailgates this year so we planned an outdoor event at our older son's house for one of the University of Tennessee away games.  We were going to do everything outside and the day had been beautiful blue skies.  But just as we were getting set up in the back yard a few hours before the game, the winds blew, the skies turned dark, and the temperatures dropped.

Dark clouds rolling in...

We weren't sure if it was going to rain but the wind was blowing everything over and it was cold so we just went with Plan B and moved everything indoors.  The food tasted just as good inside and everyone had a blast.  The menu we picked was:

Nachos and Red Hatch Chile Queso
Smoked Bologna
Smoked Beef Brisket Sliders with Crispy Fried Onions
Golden Chipotle Wings
Mango Mustard Slaw
Pit Beans

Shot recreated on a much less windy afternoon...with leftovers that were still great!

It may seem a little counter-intuitive to make a big meat like brisket or pork butt for a tailgate but it actually makes logistical sense.  You can cook those meats at home, put them foiled in a cooler or Cambro, and hold them for 4 hours.  All you have to do at the tailgate is slice or pull it.

For this brisket, I used the El Diablo Steakhouse Mustard as a slather.  Mustard slathers are nothing new in BBQ, the mustard acts as a binder for the seasoning rub and the vinegar in the mustard also provides a tenderizing effect (although I think the latter is more "old pitmaster tale" than fact). But the varieties and heat that El Diablo Mustard has bring something new to the game - a more complex flavor.  

Dat smoke ring...

Smoked Beef Brisket Sliders with Crispy Fried Onions
Serves:  10-12

  • 12-14 lb whole beef brisket, fat cap trimmed to 1/4" thick
  • 1/2 cup El Diablo Steakhouse Mustard (divided)
  • 1/2 cup beef rub (see recipe)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cups crispy fried onions
  • 1 cup spicy BBQ sauce
  • 24 slider rolls
  1. [Optional Step] Mix 1 tablespoon of the mustard and the cup of beef stock together. Bring to a simmer, strain, and cool.  Use a meat syringe to inject the mixture throughout the brisket.
  2. Slather the brisket with the remaining El Diablo Mustard.  Season liberally on all sides with the beef rub.  Let rest refrigerated for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Set up your smoker or grill for indirect heat and preheat to 225°f (temp measured at the level of your cooking grate). 
  4. Place brisket, fat cap down, on the grill or smoker over indirect heat and smoke for 2 hours.  
  5. Raise the smoker or grill temperature to 250°F and keep cooking until the brisket reaches a dark mahogany color, which usually occurs around an internal temperature between 160 to 175°f in my experience.  At this point you can wrap the brisket in foil (stops the browning and speeds up the cooking) if you like or you can just keep cooking it "naked" without foil.  
  6. When the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 195-197°f, start checking it for tenderness by inserting a BBQ skewer or thermometer probe into it.  When it slides in like butter, your brisket is done.
  7. Wrap the brisket in a double sheet of foil (if you already didn't in Step 5), place in a warm, empty cooler, cover it with a towel, close the cooler and let it rest for at least an hour or up to 4 hours.
  8. Slice against the grain.  Usually brisket is sliced in pencil thick widths but for sliders, I like to go thinner. 
  9. Top the beef with a LIGHT drizzle of sauce and the crispy fried onions and serve on slider buns.
Serving Tip:  Brisket dries out quickly once it is sliced.  If you are serving in a heated chafing dish over an extended period, add the drippings from the foil and a little extra beef stock to the dish to keep the beef from drying out.

For the beef rub you have a couple of options.  You can do a simple rub of 3 parts kosher salt, 2 parts cracked black pepper, and 1 part minced dried garlic.  I used the following variation of my NMT Beef Rub.  I mix all of the ingredients except the salt and coarsely grind them, then add in the salt to taste.  I find the using the coarse grind is the key because when I finely grind this exact same recipe, it tastes mostly like salt.  

beef rub, brisket rub, Nibble Me This

mustard, brisket prep
I've mentioned this before but I use the resting rack to keep the mustard and seasonings on the bottom from sticking to a tray instead of the brisket.

BGE, Big Green Egg brisket, kamado brisket
I put liquid in the drip pan below the brisket.  This does two things.  First, it keeps the drippings from smoldering a nasty, greasy smoke.  Second, it adds moisture to the air, creating good conditions for forming a smoke ring.

Looks like a burned hunk of meat, right?  But look at the juices still welling up on top of that brisket and check out the slices.

bbq brisket, beef brisket, smoked brisket, Big Green Egg Brisket
For a BBQ competition, this would be too done as this was falling apart tender but it was still very moist and perfect for sliders.

BBQ brisket
The crispy fried onions add a nice flavor and texture contrast to the tender brisket.

My two boys and Brett's girlfriend killing time while we got set up.

Notice the Cambro at the front left.  This was strategically placed to help hold it down after the wind flipped the EZ-Up the first time.
Alexis getting the buffet set up.

After everything kept getting blown off of the tables and the fuel canisters for the chafing dishes kept blowing out, we decided to move the food service indoors. 

Getting the appetizers going.

Once the dinner bell rang, the crowd of my son's friends started loading up their trays.
Good times all around, we had a blast.
Game time!
A funny side note.  One of his friends was 9 1/2 months pregnant (kidding, but due to be induced on the following Monday).  We got a text from Brett the next morning...

Happy Birthday, Baby "O"!

Giveaway - El Diablo Mustard
Our friends at El Diablo - The Mustard That Bites Back - are giving a set of their flavor popping, spicy mustard varieties to one lucky reader.  

I just found out about these mustards at Memphis In May this year but have grown real fond of them.  As a condiment, they really kick up the taste.  But I like them even more as an ingredient.  Add some to your favorite slaw or BBQ bean recipe, or any recipe that calls for mustard, and you have upped your game.  The thermometer icon on the front lets you know the heat level of each variety.

How To Enter and Rules
  1. To enter, just leave a comment below.  You can have a second entry for a tweet about this giveaway including my twitter handle @nibblemethis so I can find it.  NOTE:  If you are using the anonymous comment option, please make sure to leave a way to reach you (email,  forum user name, twitter etc) in case you win. 
  2. Giveaway entry period begins as soon as this is posted and ends October 31, 2014 at 11:59pm. Drawing will be held November 1, 2014 at noon (All times are Eastern Time zone).  Winner will be announced in a new post about the Chipotle Mustard Wings. 
  3. Comments will be numbered by order received and will generate a random number for the winner.
  4. Limited to residents of the continental United States unless you wish to pay the extra shipping charges.
  5. El Diablo Mustard is sponsoring the prize but I am the final judge regarding any discrepancies, interpretations, grievances, etc about this drawing.
  6. Winner must respond to claim the prize within one week of the winning announcement and/or email contact. I do attempt to contact the winner directly if contact information is provided.  If a winner does not claim the prize during the specified time, a reserve winner will be drawn from the original entries.
Please note that I use comment moderation to weed out spam.  Your comment will not appear immediately.  If you don't think your comment goes through, just shoot me an email and I can double check for you.