What Is Rolled Brisket?

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  • Written By: Dan Harkins
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Beef brisket is the long, thin strip of meat that runs along the breast plate of a cow. Butchers have long sold this cut of beef by simply rolling it into small logs, which are then secured with string. The preparation should involve a sufficient marination period if grilling or smoking the meat, but it can just as easily be cooked "low and slow" inside a crock pot or casserole dish.

Usually butchers will sell rolled brisket already stringed. It is either folded over or rolled into three or more layers for a log that can be about as big around as a full roll of paper towels. The fat is typically situated on the outside of the roast, which is frequently rubbed with a combination of flavorings and aromatics like garlic, mustard and herbs.

Rolled brisket can be prepared in several ways. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver creates a gravy of beef stock, with chopped garlic, carrots, peppers and onion, finished off with salt, pepper, red wine and some herbs. The beef goes with the gravy into a casserole dish, which is covered and cooked at a low temperature — about 250°F (or 121°C) — for as long as three hours or until the meat is nearly browned through, tender and fully flavored to the core.


A smoker is equally effective for cooking rolled brisket. To properly tenderize it, the meat should be left covered in the refrigerator overnight after a generous rubbing of seasonings like garlic, paprika, mustard, salt and pepper. After the rest, the meat is smoked slowly on a low temperature. This meat also can be cooked by other moistening methods like in the crock pot, a pressure cooker or water bath. Regardless of the method, the rolled brisket is ready when the internal temperature has reached 190°F (about 88°C).

Some take their brisket a step above by stuffing it full of flavor before cooking. This involves cutting open the brisket once it is home or buying one that has not yet been rolled. The inside, fatless side of the cut is slathered in the same dry-rub seasonings as the outside, along with a layer of spreadable cheese — the sharper the better. All that is left is to assemble the rolled brisket with string again, and then cook it. Often alongside the beef, in a gravy or simple beef stock, are vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions that create an aromatic gravy and keep the meat steaming with flavor.


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