Cowboy Brisket gets its name from one of its ingredients, namely coffee, which is a staple for cowboys of old and today. Along with coffee, garlic, onions, and apple cider vinegar flavor this slow-roasted, tender beef brisket. The result is tender beef with a rich onion gravy, and surprisingly, no coffee flavor.
Plan ahead to marinate overnight before cooking. The brisket may be made in advance and reheated the next day. It will actually taste better if you do so.
Cowboy Brisket Recipe
4 to 6 pounds first cut brisket of beef (do not remove fat cap – see Notes)
3 cloves garlic, slivered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large onions, thinly sliced, divided use
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1 large bay leaf, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 cup cold strong black coffee, divided use
1/2 cup beef broth or water
Cut slits all over the brisket with a thin, sharp knife. Push the slivered garlic into the slits.
Peel and thinly-slice 1 of the onions. Place the sliced onions, crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke in a large freezer ziptop bag. Squish to combine. Add the brisket to the bag, seal, and toss to evenly coat the meat. Unseal the bag, squeeze out all the air, reseal, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Remove brisket from the marinade, discarding marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then coat with the flour.
Heat a heavy, deep skillet over medium heat-high heat. When hot, add the bacon grease and swirl to coat the pan. Sear the brisket on both sides until browned, turning only once. Remove to a platter.
Thin-slice the remaining 3 onions and add to the same skillet. Saute until softened and lightly browned, then add 1/4 cup of the coffee. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer onions and liquid to a shallow roasting casserole dish or roasting pan and spread evenly over the bottom. Bury the bay leaves in the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place brisket fat-side up, along with any accumulated juices, on top of the onions and sprinkle with the crushed oregano. Add remaining coffee and broth or water to the pan, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 275 F. and bake an additional 3 hours until very tender. Let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
Slice thinly against the grain. Skim any fat from the liquid in the pan, then return brisket slices to the pan to coat. Serve hot with onions and pan juices.
The brisket may be made in advance and refrigerated in the pan juices. To reheat, cover with foil, and bake at 350 F. until warmed through.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• Please resist removing the fat cap from the brisket. Leaving the fat cap on keeps the meat from drying out during the long braising process in the oven. If necessary, you can remove it after cooking and before you slice to serve.
Cowboy Brisket Recipe Photo ©2020 Peggy Filippone