| Side-by-Side |

Pulled Beef

Photo Credit: Sina Mizrahi

There is little that can compete with meat that’s been bathed in a luscious sauce and slow-cooked until it’s impossibly tender. But there are a variety of cuts that can get us there. Let’s explore how second-cut brisket (the default) does against kolichel. I cooked them both in a homemade barbecue sauce (you can use store bought if you prefer) until a fork slid right through and the meat slid right off.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

In a saucepan, combine ingredients. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat; cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Pulled Beef
  • 1 3-lb (1.36-kg) second-cut brisket or kolichel
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Combine rub seasonings in a small bowl. Rub over meat on both sides.

Heat an ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add oil; sear meat until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Pour barbecue sauce on top, cover, and bake until the meat is tender and easily falls apart, at least 3 hours.

Remove pan from the oven. Use two forks to pull the beef. Serve over a bun, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Optional: Remove meat from the sauce and cook sauce on high for 5–8 minutes to thicken.

Other Cooking Methods

Slow cooker: Sear meat, transfer to a slow cooker, and cook for 8–10 hours on low.

Pressure cooker: Sear meat in the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 1.5 hours.

My Verdict

When I pulled the second-cut brisket, it turned into long, stringy pieces of meat, whereas the kolichel melted onto itself and broke apart into smaller strands. The textures looked different, which I thought would affect the results, but they both tasted delicious and tender. I could not detect an obvious difference between them.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 782)



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