Big Weekend Brisket

Slow-cooking meat is great. Brisket benefits immensely from it and with a chunky slab, you can create a substantial evening feed for a crowd or fuel a smaller group over two or three meals. Dishes created with leftovers can be just as delicious as the original, quicker to rustle up and home economical to boot.

This recipe is best set aside for a day when you’re free to keep an eye on things but compared to the amount of hours of cooking time, very little of that is spent in the kitchen. It is perfect for a lazy weekend or cooking for guests when you don’t want to be too distracted.

This quantity should typically serve 6 greedy people but can easily be stretched to more with the addition of a simple side like a potato salad. I’d give it a go even if there are only a few of you – some ideas for leftover specials are below and you’ll be set for a couple of evening meals.

Ideally, be prepared to start this the day before cooking so you can get the dry rub settled into the meat (or have an early start in the morning!).

This would go brilliantly with some Good Times Tear and Share Bread but if you want to take full advantage of your lazy weekend, some decent basic rolls will do just as well. Also throw in some buttered corn cobs and potato salad for a classic British indoors rainy-day BBQ sensation!

Adapted from Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes.

~Jo Eats!

Brisket served with kale and a roll

Big Weekend Brisket

A chunky slab of slow cooked brisket with a rich, sticky barbecue sauce.
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 18 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6


Meat and Dry Rub

  • 2 kg Beef Brisket boneless
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper Corns
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 500 ml Beef Stock

Barbecue Sauce

  • 250 ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 75 g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 75 ml Rum
  • 250 ml Tomato Ketchup
  • Dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 300 ml Beef Stock



  • Start the night before you want to cook (or early in the morning if cooking the same day). Prepare the dry rub. Toast and grind the caraway, coriander, cumin and black pepper. Mix with the mustard powder, sugar, paprika and cayenne. You don't have to be too exacting here with quantities and feel free to up the cayenne if you'd like a bit more kick.
    Ground spices
  • If your brisket is "rolled", remove any bindings and unroll then rub the mix all over the brisket. Place in a dish, cover and refrigerate overnight (optional).
    Brisket with ground spices
  • Preheat the oven to 160°c (140°c fan oven). Place the brisket into a large, deep roasting dish (about 35cm length) and pour the beef stock around the meat. Don't pour it on top – you want to avoid washing the rub off so you get a good crusty topping.
    Brisket with ground spices
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil and put carefully into the oven for 5-6 hours. Check every so often that the liquid hasn't dried out and top up with a little water as needed. When done, the meat should be very tender and fall apart when teased with a fork.
  • Leave the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes once out of the oven. This will now give you time to start making your barbecue sauce.
    Brisket with ground spices

Barbecue Sauce

  • Put the vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. And the remaining ingredients and then repeat – boiling briefly before reducing the heat and letting the sauce bubble very slowly until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Using two forks, break up the meat – it should pull apart easily. At this point, you can mix the meat with the BBQ sauce in the pan, and serve right away. Alternatively, serve the meat separately in a dish with the sauce in jug. This is a better option if you're planning to make use of leftover meat.
    Shredded brisket


The brisket can also be sliced if you prefer.
Feel free to use ready ground spices, but toasting and grinding your own takes this to the next level. Remember you’ll need to use about a quarter less than the stated quantities if using ready ground spices.
Any leftover meat works a treat in basically any dish where you’d usually use beef mince such as a spaghetti bolognese or chilli. Make your base sauce as normal and stir through the meat ensuring it is fully heated through before serving.
Alternatively, why not try using the meat and remaining barbecue sauce as a pizza topping, with some sliced red onions, peppers and chillis.
You could even mix the leftover meat into some gravy, pop in an oven proof dish, top with mash potato and maybe a sprinkle of cheese, cook at 200°c (180°c fan) for about 20 minutes until browned and you’ve got a makeshift cottage pie.
Keyword Barbecue, BBQ, Beef, Meat
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