I measure the success of my cookouts with family by the quietness in the room when everyone is eating. It’s never been a secret that I show my love for others by cooking, and when a silence falls over the room, I figure it’s my payment in kind for how everything turned out. Not a bad measuring stick if you think about it. When you’re too busy filling your face to speak, I’ll take it. The talking can wait, and with any get together, you have everyone over extra early anyway – so the chatting and anticipation comes before the meal.
Bringing Stubb’s into the mix for my latest get together was the right choice. Being a brisket smoking newbie, I relied on all my sources for success in this endeavor. I love Stubb’s and Rocky, their BBQ expert, grew up making family recipes like smoked brisket that he learned from his grandfather Stubb. So this month’s challenge to make my own brisket. I used Rocky’s techniques, and Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub was the way to go. When I called my dad to tell him what I was planning on doing, he even set me up with a spare smoker he had! Because of COURSE dad’s have a spare smoker laying around? Either way, I was pumped! I was determined to do this recipe, and this rub justice.
The one thing standing in my way? Baby brain. It is a real thing, people. When Ben and I ventured to the store the night before, I accidentally picked up a corned beef brisket, not a uncured brisket. Once I realized it the next morning, I panicked, called my store frantically and asked if they had fresh, brisket ready to go. THEY DID! Don’t worry though, that corned beef is going to get smoked again for pastrami as soon as we settle into the new house! Because another get together is just what we need!
I fired up the smoker using the tips from Rocky and Stubb’s website, which were the same ones my dad gave me. (He’s been doing a lot of research for his smoking creations!) and I went to work. I sprinkled Stubb’s BBQ spice rub all over the brisket and let it set for 30 minutes per the directions. Then I laid it out on the smoker and let the magic happen. 10 hours later it was done.
No fuss. I like a meal that comes together that way.
Like with any good Texas cookout, you need to enjoy it with coleslaw and beans, which is just what we did. I added in my new favorite cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes, my best friend brought her cast iron cooked bacon corn bread (uhhh, swoon!), and we dug in! I made sure we had our choice of Stubb’s BBQ sauces handy just in case, too. I chose Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce, for its tango tomato flavor, zing of vinegar, and sweetness of molasses. It’s good on whatever meat you put it on.
Then silence descended. And it was good. The tiny Tater Tot was so happy with my brisket; he was moving around A LOT.
And then, because the brisket was so large, we had leftovers! I was not sad about this, because it led me down the path of this Smoked Brisket Shepherd’s Pie with Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. It took all of the best parts of our get together and made let us continue to enjoy our hard work a little longer.
Plus, leftovers for days? I’m not even sad about that.
For a first foray into smoking, it was a success. I’ll keep going back to all of these tips and tricks provided by Stubb’s to keep improving my game and hopefully by next year, have it completely aced. Check out what other tips you can use below. There are even great ones if you need to use your oven!!
- For a brisket that is 12-15 pounds, cook the brisket around 200- degree oven for about 10-12 hours, or until the internal temperature gets to 185 degrees.
- Preparation with a rub is critical for a good flavor crust. Rub the entire brisket generously with Stubb’s Beef or Bar-B-Q rub. Only put the rub on 30 minutes before the meat goes on the grill. The longer the rub sits on the meat, the more the salt draws out the moisture of the meat
- Most people at home have a charcoal grill, and you can easily smoke a brisket on it. Here’s how to do it:
- First, soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
- Place a foil pan under the grates of the grill to catch drippings.
- Spread charcoal on one side of grill, leaving the other side empty. Light your charcoal and allow to heat until subtle coating of grey ash forms
- Sprinkle soaked wood chips directly onto the coals and allow them to start smoking.
- Place brisket over the side of the grill without charcoal, and cover, so it cooks over indirect heat.
- Slice along the ribbon of fat that runs horizontally through the meat. Then, slice the meaty halves of the brisket against or across the grain.
- Not sure where the grain is? It’s easier to see on the raw meat before it’s rubbed, so cut a notch when prepping to help guide once it’s cooked.
It’s not done ‘til you add the sauce! We add Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce after cooking so the sauce doesn’t burn on the grill. You can put in on the side and dip, or drizzle it over the top.
Get the recipe for my Smoked Brisket Shepherd’s Pie with Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Potatoes below in case you need a recipe to use for those smoked brisket leftovers. Unless you’re a hero, and ate it all. In which case, well done you!
Smoked Brisket Shepherd’s Pie with Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds Chopped Smoked Brisket
- 3 Carrots, sliced or chopped evenly
- 1 head Broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
- 2 cups frozen Mixed Vegetables, corn, peas, etc
- 1 Red or Sweet Onion, minced
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cup Beef Broth
- 3-4 Tbsp Flour
Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
- 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 jalapeno finely minced, seeds removed for less heat
- 4 Tbsp Butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ¼ cup Whipping Cream or Half and Half
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a dutch oven, or extra large skillet, heat the pan over medium heat. Add in the butter and olive oil and let the butter melt and come to a slight simmer. Add in the carrots and onion, sautéing until the carrots have softened about half way through. Check them with a fork to test their doneness. Add in the broccoli florets, mixed vegetables, and chopped brisket. Stir the mixture together and then, add in the beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer, and sprinkle with flour. With the mixture simmering, the broth should thicken slightly. When this happens, pour the mixture into a 13×9 inch casserole dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven 375 degrees.
In the same dutch oven, that has been cleaned, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add in the potatoes and boil until they are fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the cheddar, jalapeno and garlic.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the dutch oven. Using a hand mixer, or a potato masher, add in the butter and allow to melt while blending the potatoes. Next, fold in the sour cream, and whipping cream. Lastly fold in the garlic, jalapeno, and cheddar cheese. Test the potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the smoked brisket shepherd’s pie filling. Place it in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes have turned slightly golden brown.
Let the pie rest for 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve along side corn bread or your other favorite BBQ side dishes.
*This post is sponsored by Stubb’s BBQ Sauce. All opinions are my own.