The new owners of our local butchery are the lovely Matt and Chelsie. Chatting the other day, we agreed it can be tricky to cook a less-familiar cut of meat, so they are providing the meat and I am providing the expertise… starting with beef brisket.

It’s a meat that’s trending everywhere at the moment – traditionally thought of as a cheaper cut of meat that in the right hands can be the food of kings. When we think of brisket we probably think about smoked BBQ beef brisket, the regional American speciality. Over in Texas they’re out there in their yards for 12-18 hours using an offset smoker, but if you don’t have one of those you can still enjoy that rich meltingly-tender meat, traditionally spiced with chilli and eaten with pickles, coleslaw, potato salad or cornbread.

This is an oven recipe – probably a weekend one, as although there isn’t much actually cooking prep time, a cut of meat like this needs long slow cooking. Get ready to throw on a marinade on Friday night, leave it in the fridge overnight and take it out and start cooking it Saturday lunchtime for an amazing Saturday dinner that will please your family or friends.


1 thick piece of beef brisket weighing 1.3kg (allow 325-350g per person; this piece fed four)


2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp liquid smoke

For the BBQ sauce

1 small onion
1 clove garlic
¾ cup tomato ketchup
2 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp ground cloves



  1. The night before: make a marinade for the meat – purée the garlic, onion, black pepper, brown sugar, mustard powder, chilli flakes and liquid smoke to a thick paste. Trim off the thickest bits of fat, then coat the meat thoroughly in the marinade, put in a roasting dish, cover tightly with foil and leave for 12 hours in the fridge.
  2. The next morning around lunchtime, preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  3. Take the marinated meat out of the fridge, let it come up to room temperature, leaving the foil in place and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Turn the oven down to 120ºC and cook for another 4 hours. (Allow 1.5 hours of cooking time per kilo). Baste occasionally. Both the meat and onion marinade will give out plenty of juice, so expect to see a generous amount of liquid in your roasting pan. If it looks like it might dry out, add a little hot water.
  5. You could use a pre-made barbeque sauce to serve with the brisket or you can make your own. Just finely chop the onion and garlic, sweat them in a little oil, then add all the other ingredients and simmer gently until very thick.
  6. Once the meat cooking time is up, take the meat out of the oven, uncover it, and turn the oven up to 200ºC. Drain the meat juices and scrapings of marinade from the pan and pour them into the BBQ sauce. Reheat the sauce and cook down a little more, stirring occasionally.
  7. Whilst that is happening put the meat back in the oven to brown a little on the top.
  8. In about another ten minutes, it will be perfect. Take it out, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes or so, then you’re ready to carve it into thick slices.
  9. Serve with the BBQ sauce in a slider or with a generous serving of potato salad or cornbread, pickles or sliced onions. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coastalflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.

(Here’s a link to Matt and Chelsie’s Facebook page.)