Monday, May 20, 2013

Atlanta Brisket, My Way

Atlanta Brisket - made using Coca-Cola classic, onion soup mix and chili sauce.

Atlanta Brisket

This brisket that rests overnight in a tub of chili sauce, Classic Coca Cola and onion soup mix, before baking, came courtesy of Beth one of our Facebook readers.

I don't know how I missed it all these years, but Beth says the recipe came from Joan Nathan, and a television cooking show from many years ago, though I believe that it's pretty well known across the net these days.

I had just shared my Crockpot Coca Cola Roast Beef on the Facebook page when Beth commented that it reminded her a little of Atlanta Brisket. Southerners do love to cook with Coca-Cola for sure, though I've run across a few people who are not from the South that just don't understand that, and, in fact, find it odd. We Southerners find nothing at all odd about cooking with Coke!

After the brisket cooks, it sits for another 30 minutes out of the oven but wrapped, then is removed and left to rest on a cutting board before slicing.

The standard recipe for Atlanta Brisket is simply a brisket, chili sauce, onion soup mix and a Coca-Cola Classic, though as usual, there are a number of variations in ingredients, amounts and sometimes, even in how it's prepared.

Everything below, outside of those 4 standard ingredients, are my own add-ins, but you can find Beth's recipe right here. She actually prepares this brisket in a three-step process over three days. Day 1 is the marinade, day 2 the baking. The brisket is then sliced, returned to the sauce and refrigerated where on Day 3, accumulated fat is scraped off and the brisket is re-warmed in the oven. Beth says that it is even better on Day 4!

This is typically done with a smaller size brisket, somewhere in the range of 3 to 5 pounds. You could certainly do a larger cut the same way, just make those adjustments for ingredients and cooking time.

I don't buy brisket often because generally it's mostly found as a big piece of beef and therefore costly, and on those occasions when it goes on sale it's only the larger cuts. Although there is shrinkage, that's still a lot of meat for me and The Cajun! On occasion I'll find the smaller cuts, but at a higher price. My butcher tells me that's just the way it is. Look for a piece with a nice, thick fat cap on it, although if it's thicker than about 1 to 1-1/2 inches, you'll want to trim it down.

Use leftover brisket for nachos, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, on huevos, in a hash, as a meat sauce for pasta, shredded on sandwiches, incorporated in burger meat or in sloppy joe sauce, or in chili, in dips, as a pizza topping, or in a variety of recipes where you would normally use ground beef.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Atlanta Brisket

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 24 hours |Cook time: 4 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 to 5 pound beef brisket (not corned beef)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of Coca Cola classic
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar of commercial or homemade chili sauce
  • 1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke, optional
  • Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • 1/2 of a Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Place brisket into a large zipper bag or a glass baking pan for marinating. Whisk together the Coke, chili sauce and dry onion soup mix; pour over the brisket. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning several times.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Join together enough layers of heavy duty foil to place in a baking dish and wrap around the brisket. Rub liquid smoke into the lean part of the brisket. Season brisket lightly on the lean side with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning; rub in. Lay the brisket on top, fat side up and make several knife slices into the fat cap. Place onions on top and pour the contents of the marinade all over the top of the brisket; seal foil. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 4 hours (approximately 1 hour per pound), rotating the pan occasionally. Remove from oven, carefully open to check *internal temperature, and re-cover, letting the brisket rest in the sauce, for 30 minutes.

Remove brisket and transfer to a cutting board to rest. Skim fat from the top of the sauce, and transfer to a large skillet; bring to a boil. Whisk together cornstarch with just enough water to make a slurry and slowly stir into the boiling sauce; let boil for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until nicely thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and taste sauce; season with salt and pepper as needed. Slice brisket across the grain and transfer slices back to the sauce, or place on a large platter and pour sauce over the top.

Cook's Notes: Brisket may be prepared ahead, sliced and stored in the sauce, covered, in the refrigerator. To reheat, skim off additional hardened fat, cover and heat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.

May substitute a homemade onion soup mix using 3 tablespoons of dried onion flakes, 1 tablespoon of beef base (like Better than Bouillon) or 2 tablespoons of granular beef bouillon, plus 2 teaspoons of onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt (like Lawry's). *The brisket will be cooked through at 160 degrees F, however, take it higher to about 180 for the most tender beef, re-cover and let it sit and continue to cook with residual heat, to about 185/190 degrees or slightly higher.

Slow Cooker: Prepare as above and place into an appropriate sized slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, though actual time will depend on the size of the brisket.


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Posted by on May 20, 2013
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