I purchased your FABULOUS book the other week and am keen to start making some of the recipes, but I do have one question. What is brisket? I did some brief ‘Googleing’ but am more confused than ever. My understanding is that brisket is the same cut of meat as silverside/corned beef; minus the brining process, is this true? Or is it a completely different cut of meat? Or is it just silverside/corned beef?
Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Thanks for your email!
We are all so pleased that you think our book is FABULOUS.
Brisket is a cut of meat (gelatinous and a little fatty, but amazing flavour) that comes from the breast (chest) of the beef. It is the piece that runs from the 3rd bottom rib up to the shoulder/neck, and it is wider at one end that the other, which is almost a point. Silverside is from the inside of the leg in the rear quarter. It is much less fatty than a brisket and the best part is the ‘eye’, which is what they often make pastrami from.
Both pieces are often corned or brined which is why some people think they are the same thing.
Brisket is often used in Jewish cooking when it is fresh (i.e. not brined, corned or pickled). It is usually slow braised in a sauce for several hours. Have a look at Paula’s calf brisket recipe which uses a veal brisket still on the ribs.
Pickled (corned/brined) brisket is also popular, and it needs to be boiled until fork tender. It can then be served immediately (e.g. Merrylin’s salt beef) or roasted for added flavour and texture (Sara’s pickled brisket).
It is really worth speaking to your butcher about brisket – it is a wonderful meat to eat.
Silverside would work well for Merrylin’s recipe. If you wanted to make Sara’s with silverside, I would suggest you fry your onions first and only roast the meat for 15 minutes or so – otherwise it may dry out.
Hope this answers your questions – please let me know if you have any others!