Bob makes Brisket
So let's finally talk about making brisket. Not just any ol' brisket but Willingham's World-Champion Brisket. Hell, if you're gonna start somewhere start at the top! This was in the summer of 1996. I had an awful job working as the desktop support manager for HarperCollins Publishers and by this time, I had been BBQing for at least 6 years. I had done chicken and I had done ribs, but I never attempted the crown jewel of the pitmaster's art - brisket. After picking up Willingham's book I decided to give it a try. The recipe didn't seem hard, but even if it was, I could do it.
So I invited our hillbilly friends, well at least as close to hillbilly as you can find living in Brooklyn, over for a dinner of BBQ brisket. The husband was an ex-marine and spent a lot of time in the south, so I figured I'd try it out on a BBQ "expert". Like I said, I was starting at the top, I wasn't gonna spend 10 hours cooking just to please the locals! I wanted someone who knew great barbecue as soon as he tasted it.
So the day before the planned dinner, I go searching the wilds of Waldbaum's for a brisket. 6 to 9 lbs please! I didn't know that supermarkets had different cuts of brisket. Sure I knew about corned beef and pastrami, but brisket? Is it like ordering a chicken? Give me a brisket and be done with it! Nope. Flat cut? First cut? Point? Oh - 6 to 9 lbs? You must want a whole brisket - that's a special order.
So I take what I can find. Three small pieces of flat brisket. In total they weighed 5 lbs. I get them home, marinate and rub and put them in the refrigerator over night. Don't rub meat in your bare hands. Paprika stains! Cayenne in you eyes hurts! But nowhere near as much as cayenne on your dick because you didn't wash your hands good enough. Trust me I know! In the morning - I get up at 6 am for this. And if you know me at all - you KNOW I don't get up at 6 for anything.
Everything's on the fire at about 7:00. Ok - 8 to 10 hours cook time, means dinner will be ready about 4:00 pm. Perfect our friends are supposed to show up around 3:00 in the afternoon. Everything's going to be great. Well it wasn't. I tell the rest of the story in my next post.