You can serve this brisket right out of the oven, but finishing it on the grill gives it a delightful smoky flavor that perfectly complements the spicy barbecue sauce.Plus: More Beef Recipes and Tips

July 2002


Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 300°. In a bowl, combine the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, paprika, chile powder, 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper and the ginger. Set the brisket in a large enameled cast-iron casserole and rub the spices all over the meat.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire and soy sauces; simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer.

  • Pour the sauce over the brisket. Cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid and bake for 4 hours, turning twice, until very tender and the sauce is thickened. Transfer the brisket to a platter. Pour the sauce into a medium saucepan and let stand for 10 minutes, then skim off the fat.

  • Light a grill. If using charcoal, scatter the hickory chips over the coals. If using a gas grill, place the chips in the smoker box or scatter them over the heat bars. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the brisket covered over a medium-low fire for 45 minutes, turning once, until nicely charred. Transfer to a cutting board.

  • Meanwhile, boil the sauce over moderately high heat until reduced to 4 cups, about 20 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then pour into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Thinly slice the brisket across the grain on the diagonal; arrange on the rolls. Top with the lettuce, tomatoes and red onions, drizzle with some of the barbecue sauce and serve.

Make Ahead

The brisket can be refrigerated in its sauce for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before grilling.


Slicing meat across the grain can make it much more tender and succulent. Brisket is composed of long muscle fibers that run in one direction. If you cut parallel to these fibers (with the grain), the meat will be tough; instead, cut perpendicular to the fibers (across the grain).

Suggested Pairing

A medium-weight Pinot Noir or Merlot with spice and berry flavors has enough acidity to stand up to the fiery barbecue sauce.