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Bourbon Pulled Brisket

By KOL Foods Chef, Avi Levy, of Avi's Kosher Kitchen

This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s so good, so unexpected and works well for a family dinner, kids lunch or Shabbat. It’s a great recipe to get the flavors of BBQ even if you live in a small apartment or it’s the dead of winter.

You must have patience for this recipe, as it needs to cook for at least eight hours, but that patience will pay off. Just be careful to make more than you think you’ll need, because once your guests taste this they’ll be going back for more and more.

For the Brisket:
1 – KOL Foods 100% grass-fed, 2nd Cut Brisket
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 cup of wine good enough to enjoy (white or red)
1 cup of water
3 sweet onions
Olive oil

First, lightly cover the brisket with some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Next put a light layer of the Bourbon BBQ Sauce on all sides. Then sear in a hot pan with a light coating of olive oil. While the brisket is searing, slice one of the onions into thick slices, about a ¼ to ½ inch thick. Place those on the bottom of your slow cooker with a light coating of olive oil. Put the cooker on high or about 250-300 degrees. Then pour one cup of water and one cup of wine into the crock.

Once the brisket has been seared on both sides (about a minute per side) lay down on top of the onions with the fat side up. Then generously coat the top of the brisket with a thick layer of the Bourbon BBQ Sauce (recipe below). Next cut the remaining onions into half moons and sauté them until slightly soft. Put them on top of the brisket and sauce. Cover the crock and then walk away for about eight hours.

For the Bourbon BBQ Sauce:
12 oz organic tomato paste
10 oz white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
8 oz of pure maple syrup
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. arrow root
1 or 2 shots of fine bourbon

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend well for about thirty seconds. Now you’re done. That was easy. However, you should taste it. If it’s not quite sweet enough or bourbon enough for you, adjust to your taste. Please remember though that you will not be eating this sauce by itself, it will combine with the fats, juices and strong flavors of the meat. The sugars and the bourbon will also caramelize while cooking, so it will just get better. I put the left over sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle and use it on burgers, fries, roasts etc.

OK, I know what’s really going to happen. You’re going to smell the aroma and be tempted to check on it. Go ahead, you have my permission, you can even add more sauce if you want. BUT . . . please don’t panic if you see that the brisket is not pulling apart. It will, you just have to be patient. It usually takes eight to ten hours of cooking before it really starts to pull apart.

So now the big moment has arrived. You take the brisket out. Put it on your cutting board and it just starts to fall apart. You’ve tasted it and done that Food TV "Oh this is so delicious” face. Now let’s serve it. All you have to do is pull it apart with a couple of forks. No slicing necessary.

I like to grill a flat bread, with some rosemary oil either on top of or mixed in to the dough. Put that on the plate and pile the brisket on top. Don’t forget to take some of the sauce and onions from the crock and put it on top. Then gently squeeze a tad more of the Bourbon BBQ Sauce on top from the squeeze bottle.

You can also put it in boureka dough and bake, serve on a sour dough roll or on a slider roll. Of course it’s great just by itself as well. To give your presentation a BBQ atmosphere serve with corn on the cob, coleslaw and beans. Or to give it a more upscale presentation, serve on fine china with grilled carrots or asparagus, roast herbed potato straws and some arugula with a tomato bruschette.

This recipe has become a great "go to” recipe for my family, especially for Shabbat. My kids love it; my guests love it and so do we. After all . . . what’s not to love?

L’Chaim . . . Avi