Growing up in my Italian family, sandwiches were our go-to lunch on the weekends. They are quick and hearty and the options for toppings are endless. Beef brisket is something that I came to enjoy later in life, so I am serving it here in a hamburger bun with pickles and coleslaw. Beef brisket has become popular so this cut of beef is now easier to find at your local grocery store. The cut is moderately priced and because it will be simmering away in the slow cooker for six hours, it has a lot of time to become fork-tender. After six hours of braising you simply use two forks to pull it apart. I save the drippings to make the delicious barbecue sauce to serve on the pulled beef brisket sandwiches. I highly recommend you do this step – this scratch barbecue sauce makes this sandwich a star that me and my boys have come to enjoy on the weekends!
Note to self (and you): the pulled beef brisket is also great in tacos and on nachos too, so, use it however you please!
Beef brisket has become popular so this cut of beef is now easier to find at your local grocery store. The cut is moderately priced and because it will be simmering away in the slow cooker for six hours, it has a lot of time to become fork-tender.
3 lb (1.5 kg) Beef Brisket (Double/Deckle/Point End, see Tip)
½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) EACH smoked sweet paprika, chili powder, dry mustard, garlic powder and kosher salt
½ tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ cup (60 mL) canola or olive oil
1 bottle (12 oz/341 mL) beer
1 cup (250 mL) ketchup
2 tbsp (30 mL Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
10 hamburger buns, split
- Combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, cayenne (if using) and oil in a medium bowl into a paste.
- Rub the spice mixture into beef, massaging well to make sure the spices penetrate the meat. Place beef in a minimum 5-qt (5 L) slow cooker. Pour beer around the beef.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours, until the meat is fork-tender and comes apart easily.
- Using tongs, transfer beef to a plate. Pour sauce from the slow cooker into a large deep skillet; set aside. Return beef to slow cooker and shred with 2 forks; cover and set aside to keep warm.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk flour into ketchup and pour into sauce, whisking constantly. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Simmer, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
- Sandwiches: Lightly toast hamburger buns and top with pulled brisket, spoonfuls of barbecue sauce, pickles and coleslaw.
Tip: The thicker end of the brisket works best for this recipe, rather than the thinner flat or first-cut portion. It may be labeled as Double, Deckle or Point End.
Cayenne is very spicy hot so omit it if you don’t like heat.