UKCCA Brisket Chilli



This is an amazing recipe for Brisket Chilli that's a real crowd pleaser! The finished result is just spectacular!! You HAVE to try this!!!


Ingredients for the Brisket

  • 4-5 pound beef brisket
  • Salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of beef stock


Ingredients for the Chilli gravy

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped finely. Even if you can’t stand celery don’t discount it as an ingredient. When cooked for a few hours you lose both the direct flavour and the texture but it brings bags of umami*
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped finely - When mixed with onion and celery this forms the holy trinity of bases for Cajun/Creole cooking and while this might not be what you’d think of as a starter for chilli it works and works well.
  • 2 large onions, chopped finely - Part of the holy trinity and a great all round flavour enhancer.
  • 6 cloves minced/finely chopped garlic - A great flavour enhancer, but be careful not to burn it. Also, adding roasted garlic at the end of cooking can add a beautiful sweetness to your food.
  • 8–10 sprigs thyme - Sweet and pungent, a great partner to oregano and helpsgive your chilli a mouth-watering aroma.
  • Salt and black pepper - The ultimate flavour enhancers.
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons of tomato purée - Adds a deep richness to your sauce.
  • Beef and chicken stock (1 of each) - Knorr Stock Pots are perfectly acceptable, otherwise use a chicken and a beef stock cube.
  • 1-2 habañero chilli, chopped finely - A real packer of heat, use fresh for a distinctive sweet flavour and great heat.
  • 2-3 tsp smoked paprika - Made from smoked pimentos. It has a lovely deep smoked flavour and aroma almost reminiscent of smoky bacon.
  • 4 tsp cumin - Earthy, nutty but very fragrant - chilli essential.
  • 2-3 tbsp ancho chilli powder - Ancho chillies are dried poblano chillies, have virtually no heat but a rounded almost mesmerising sweetness. Buy powdered and use heavily IE in tablespoon measures
  • 1 tsp pasilla chilli powder - Has a rich, herby, almost dried fruit flavour, medium heat but not a real burner. Lovely mixed with ancho to create a sweet fruity flavour profile with a little kick.
  • 1 tsp guajillo powder - The flavour of the guajillo (wha-hee-oh) is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste.
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano - Mexican oregano is more pungent than its European relations. Use sparingly!
  • 1 stick Mexican cinnamon - Mexican cinnamon is actually from Sri Lanka, but is hugely important in Mexican cooking. Spicy, bittersweet with a little bite. Add a stick to a pot of chilli and allow to cook through, you’ll never look back.
  • 1 tbsp masa harina - Added to the chili near the end of cooking, masa harina thickens the liquid slightly, giving it body, and imparts a subtle corn flavour.
  • 2-3 tsp chopped or paste anchovy - Use as a seasoning. It will replace salt and packs a bucket load of umami in. Can be bought in paste form in supermarkets
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce - Just has a comforting sweet and sour flavour, you don’t want to taste it directly but it balances and seasons your pot. Also contains anchovy! More umami!
  • 2 bay leaves - A general flavour enhancer, adds a mildly sweet astringency to dishes.
  • 2 squares chocolate or 1 tbsp of cocoa powder - UKCCA TOP TIP! Adds richness, increases the complexity of the flavour and darkens the colour of the chilli. Use a good cocoa powder, 70% dark chocolate or cocoasolids if you can.
  • Lime - UKCCA TOP TIP! Freshly squeezed lime juice at the end of the cooking. You will never look back!
  • 2 star anise - Aniseed flavour that goes a long way to building a base.
  • Fresh coriander, handful - It’s citrusy, it’s earthy, it complements all the base flavours you’ve used, along with bringing out the best in your sauce. Use to garnish your dish.
  1. Prepare the brisket for cooking. On one side of the brisket there should be a layer of fat, which you want. If there are any large chunks of fat, cut them off and discard them. Large pieces of fat will not be able to render out completely. Using a sharp knife, score the fat in parallel lines, about 3/4-inch apart. Slice through the fat, not the beef. Repeat in the opposite direction to make a cross-hatch pattern.
  2. You'll need an oven-proof, thick-bottomed pot with a cover, or Dutch oven, that is just wide enough to hold the brisket roast with a little room for the onions. Pat the brisket dry and place it, fatty side down, into the pot and place it on medium high heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes, lightly sizzling, until the fat side is nicely browned. (If the roast seems to be cooking too fast, turn the heat down to medium. You want a steady sizzle, not a raging sear.) Turn the brisket over and cook for a few minutes more to brown the other side.
  3. When the brisket has browned, remove it from the pot and set aside. There should be a couple tablespoons of fat rendered in the pot, if not, add some olive oil. Add the chopped onions and increase the heat to high. Sprinkle a little salt on the onions. Sauté, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Move the onions and garlic to the sides of the pot and nestle the brisket inside. Add the beef stock and herbs. Bring the stock to a boil. Cover the pot, place the pot in the 300°F oven and cook for 3 hours 30 mins. Carefully flip the brisket every hour so it cooks evenly.
  5. When the brisket is falling-apart tender, take the pot out of the oven and remove the brisket to a cutting board. Shred and place into Chilli sauce recipe below.

Whilst the Brisket is cooking....

1. Bring your stock pot to a medium temperature with a little oil and butter. Add the thyme.

2. Add the celery, onion and green pepper and gently soften for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and habanero chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle, pasilla, ancho and guajillo powders and stir thoroughly.

5. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, anchovy paste, Worcester sauce, cinnamon stick, star anise and both stocks pots.

6. Stir through then add about a pint of water until you reach the right consistency. You want it a little watery.

7. Add the Mexican oregano and bay leaf.

8. Simmer for at least 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

9. Season your chilli with salt and pepper liberally. Make sure you add plenty of black pepper here as that is going to lift the flavour. Stir and taste. You might find you want to sweeten the dish. If so add a little sugar.

10. If you need more heat add another teaspoon of pasilla chilli powder.

11. If the consistency of the chilli is too thick, add a little water. Add the masa harina.

12. Add the chocolate/cocoa, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

13. Now the killer finish... Squeeze fresh lime juice and stir, do this half a lime at a time, tasting after each addition. When you get it right the whole chilli will just lift to another level.

14. Add the pulled brisket into the sauce and stir.

14. Serve with soured cream on the side and chunks of hot baguette.

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