“The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World’s Most Epic Cut of Meat” by Steven Raichlen, Workman, $19.95, hardcover, 278 pages
If your dad’s most prized possession is a smoker, and he’s obsessed with barbecued brisket, he will definitely want award-winning author and barbecue guru Steven Raichlen’s latest cookbook for Father’s Day.
You might also consider getting him a sturdy Dutch oven or stockpot, too, because the cookbook includes recipes for braising and curing brisket.
“The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World’s Most Epic Cut of Meat” opens with a crash course on brisket from what it is (a steer’s chest muscles) and a brief history (the word’s first written appearance in the English language occurred in 1450) to “the 11 steps to barbecued brisket nirvana.” Raichlen provides information on “brisket speak” at barbecue restaurants and delicatessens, how to buy brisket, and what cookers and gear to use.
The book’s longest chapter deals with barbecued and grilled brisket, beginning with a recipe for Texas-style barbecued, 12- to 14-pound packet brisket.
Next comes recipes for cured brisket, like old-school pastrami and corned beef. That chapter is followed by recipes for braised brisket; brisket boiled, stewed and fried; brisket for breakfast; starters like bacon-grilled brisket bites and Texas Torpedoes (Brisket Poppers); brisket sandwiches; and sides dishes laced with brisket.
And the final chapter offers a look at offbeat dishes — kettle corn with crispy brisket and brisket chocolate chip cookies — plus formulas for rubs and sauces.
“The Brisket Chronicles” is a well-written, comprehensive look at one cut of beef and a good choice for anyone interested in mastering how to cook it.