Brisket

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American cuts of beef including the brisket BeefCutBrisket.svg
American cuts of beef including the brisket
Kansas City-style Angus beef brisket and burnt ends dinner from the Q39 restaurant Kansas City brisket and burnt ends dinner.png
Kansas City-style Angus beef brisket and burnt ends dinner from the Q39 restaurant
British cuts of beef including the brisket British Beef Cuts.svg
British cuts of beef including the brisket

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef primal cuts, though the precise definition of the cut differs internationally. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing or moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.

Beef meat from cattle

Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle, particularly skeletal muscle. Humans have been eating beef since prehistoric times. Beef is a source of high-quality protein and nutrients.

Veal meat of young cattle

Veal is the meat of calves, in contrast to the beef from older cattle. Veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed; however, most veal comes from young males of dairy breeds which are not used for breeding. Generally, veal is more expensive than beef from older cattle.

Primal cut piece of meat initially separated from the carcass of an animal during butchering

A primal cut or cut of meat is a piece of meat initially separated from the carcass of an animal during butchering. Examples of primals include the round, loin, rib, and chuck for beef or the ham, loin, Boston butt, and picnic for pork.

Contents

According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language , Second Edition, the term derives from the Middle English brusket which comes from the earlier Old Norse brjósk , meaning cartilage. The cut overlies the sternum, ribs, and connecting costal cartilages.

Middle English Stage of the English language from about the 12th through 15th centuries

Middle English was a form of the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.

Cartilage resilient and smooth elastic tissue, rubber-like padding that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints

Cartilage is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue, a rubber-like padding that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints, and is a structural component of the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the bronchial tubes, the intervertebral discs, and many other body components. It is not as hard and rigid as bone, but it is much stiffer and much less flexible than muscle. The matrix of cartilage is made up of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, collagen fibers and, sometimes, elastin.

Method of cooking

A pan of beef brisket Brisketphoto.jpg
A pan of beef brisket
Beef brisket noodles (Philippines) Beefbrisketjf.JPG
Beef brisket noodles (Philippines)

Brisket can be cooked many ways, including baking, boiling and roasting. Basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process. This normally tough cut of meat, due to the collagen fibers that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, is tenderized when the collagen gelatinizes, resulting in more tender brisket. The fat cap, which is often left attached to the brisket, helps to keep the meat from drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat. Water is necessary for the conversion of collagen to gelatin, which is the hydrolysis product of collagen.

Basting (cooking) This method of cooking is usually associated with roasting.

Basting is a cooking technique that involves cooking meat with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce or marinade. The meat is left to cook, then periodically coated with the juice.

Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular space in the various connective tissues in the body. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids wound together to form triple-helices of elongated fibrils. It is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and skin.

Gelatin mixture of peptides and proteins derived from connective tissues of animals

Gelatin or gelatine is a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. Brittle when dry and gummy when moist, it is also called hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate, gelatine hydrolysate, hydrolyzed gelatine, and collagen peptides. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, medications, drug and vitamin capsules, photographic films and papers, and cosmetics.

Popular methods in the United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. This is a form of smoking the meat. A hardwood, such as oak, pecan, hickory, or mesquite, is sometimes added, alone or in combination with other hardwoods, to the main heat source. Sometimes, they make up all of the heat source, with chefs often prizing characteristics of certain woods. The smoke from these woods and from burnt dripping juices further enhances the flavor. The finished meat is a variety of barbecue. Smoked brisket done this way is popular in Texas barbecue. Once finished, pieces of brisket can be returned to the smoker to make burnt ends. Burnt ends are most popular in Kansas City-style barbecue, where they are traditionally served open-faced on white bread. The traditional New England boiled dinner features brisket as a main-course option. Brisket is also cooked in a slow cooker, as this also tenderizes the meat due to the slow cooking method, which is usually 8 hours for a three-pound brisket. If brisket is cooked in a pressure cooker, it produces similar results to a slow cooker, but in a much shorter amount of time.

Spice rub

Spice rub is any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coating on the food. The food can be marinated in the spice rub for some time for the flavors to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked immediately after it is coated in the rub. The spice rub can be left on or partially removed before cooking.

Marination Process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking

Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origin of the word alludes to the use of brine in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the 'marinade', can be either acidic or enzymatic. In addition to these ingredients, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items.

Charcoal Lightweight black residue, made of carbon and ashes, after pyrolysis of animal or vegetal substances

Charcoal is the lightweight black carbon and ash residue hydrocarbon produced by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis — the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen. This process is called charcoal burning. The finished charcoal consists largely of carbon.

In the United States, the whole boneless brisket, based on the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications (IMPS), as promulgated by the USDA, has the meat-cutting classification IMPS 120. The North American Meat Processors Association publishes a photographic version of IMPS called the Meat Buyer's Guide. [1] The brisket muscles are sometimes separated for retail cutting: the lean "first cut" or "flat cut" is the deep pectoral, while the fattier "second cut", "point", "fat end", or "triangular cut" is the superficial pectoral. For food service use, they are IMPS 120A and 120B, respectively.

United States Department of Agriculture department of United States government responsible policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally.

North American Meat Processors Association

The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) was an industry group for meat processors, packers, and distributors. It was a nonprofit, membership-based group with significant presence in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Its Executive Director was Phil Kimball. The Executive Committee included John DeBenedetti, Chairman of Del Monte Meat Company (U.S.); Brent Cator, President of Cardinal Meat Specialists. Ltd (Canada); Mark Shuket, Vice President of Old World Provisions (U.S.); Michael Strauss, Treasurer of Colorado Boxed Beef Company (U.S.) and Gary Malenke, Assistant Treasurer of Sioux-Preme Pork Products (U.S.).

Other variations

Brisket has a long history in the United States dating back to the indigenous Indians of southern Texas.[ citation needed ] Brisket is synonymous with Texas culture and has long been a standing staple for residents there.[ citation needed ]

In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as a pot roast, especially as a holiday main course, usually served at Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and on the Sabbath. For reasons of economics and kashrut, it was historically one of the more popular cuts of beef among Ashkenazi Jews. Brisket is also the most popular cut for corned beef, which can be further spiced and smoked to make pastrami. The Jewish community in Montreal also makes Montreal-style smoked meat, a close relative of pastrami, from brisket. [2]

In Hong Kong, it is cooked with spices over low heat until tender, and is commonly served with noodles in soup or curry. [3]

In Korean cuisine, traditionally it is first boiled at low temperature with aromatic vegetables, then pressed with a heavy object in a container full of a soy sauce-based marinade. The ensuing preserved meat is served in match-length strips as an accompaniment (banchan) to a meal. This is called jang jorim. Brisket is also the main ingredient in a spicy soup called yuk ke jang, part of the class of soups that are complete meals in Korean cuisine. Nowadays, it is also popular to cook thin slices of it quickly over a hot plate.

In Thai cuisine, it is used to prepare suea rong hai , a popular grilled dish originally from Isan.

In New Zealand cuisine, it is used in a boil-up. Boiled in seasoned water with green vegetables and potatoes, it is popular amongst Maori people.

It is a common cut of meat used in Vietnamese phở soup.

In Britain, it is not generally smoked, but is one of a number of low-cost cuts normally cooked very slowly in a lidded casserole dish with gravy. The dish, known as a pot roast in the United States, but more commonly as braised or stewed beef in the UK, is often accompanied by root vegetables. Good results may also be achieved in a slow cooker. Cooked brisket, being boneless, carves well after refrigeration, and is a versatile, cheaper cut.

In Italian cuisine, brisket is used to prepare bollito misto , a typical Northern Italy recipe.

In Pakistan it is used in nihari , a national dish.

In Germany, brisket is braised in dark German beer and cooked with celery, carrots, onions, bay leaves, and a small bundle of thyme.

See also

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Burnt ends

Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the "point" half of a smoked brisket. When brisket muscles are separated, the lean "first cut" or "flat cut" is the deep pectoral, while the fattier "point", also known as the "second cut", "fat end", or "triangular cut", is the superficial pectoral. A traditional part of Kansas City barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. Either the entire brisket is cooked whole, then the point end removed and cooked further, or the point and flat are separated prior to cooking. Due to the higher fat content of the brisket point, it takes longer to fully cook to tender and render out fat and collagen. This longer cooking gave rise to the name "burnt ends". Sometimes when the flat is done, the point is returned to the smoker for further cooking. Some cooks re-season the point at this time.

Short ribs

Short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas of beef cattle. They consist of a short portion of the rib bone, which is overlain by meat which varies in thickness. There are two major types of cuts: The "flanken", which is cut across the bone and leaves the bone just 1 to 2 inches in length, and the "English", which is cut parallel to the bone and leaves the bone up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length. English cut short ribs may be served individually, or three or four may served connected to one another. Short ribs are popular in many international cuisines.

Pot roast type of roasted beef dish

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Montreal-style smoked meat style of smoked meat corned beef created by Jewish immigrants in Montreal, Quebec

Montreal-style smoked meat, Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Canada, is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. The brisket is allowed to absorb the flavours over a week, and is then hot smoked to cook through, and finally steamed to completion.

Texan cuisine is the food associated with the U.S. state of Texas. Texas is a large state, and its cuisine has been influenced by a wide range of cultures, including Southern, German, British, African American, Cajun/Creole, Mexican, Native American, Asian, and to a lesser degree, Jewish and Italian.

Pakistani meat dishes

Meat plays a much more dominant role in Pakistani cuisine, compared to other South Asian cuisines. According to a 2003 report, an average Pakistani consumed three times more meat than an average Indian. Of all the meats, the most popular are chicken, lamb, beef, goat, fish. Beef is particularly sought after as the meat of choice for kebab dishes or the classic beef shank dish nihari. Seafood is generally not consumed in large amounts, though it is very popular in the coastal areas of Sindh and the Makran coast of Balochistan.

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Stew combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also common. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle.

References

  1. "Meat Buyers Guide". Chefs-Resources.com. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
  2. Rabinovitch, Lara (2009), "Montreal-Style Smoked Meat:An interview with Eiran Harris conducted by Lara Rabinovitch, with the cooperation of the Jewish Public Library Archives of Montreal", Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures / Cuizine : revue des cultures culinaires au Canada, 1 (2)
  3. 40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine , CNN Go, 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-09

Further reading