Try this award winning smoked & marinated brisket with your favorite hoppy ale.
When I was in college, I would order cheap General Tso’s Chicken from the local spot at least once a week. One day, I decided that I had to learn how to make my own. I found a couple of recipes online and began to experiment. The idea then came to me that I should try to use the sauce as a marinade on some beef tips. It came out AMAZING! Several years later, I decided to enter my first amateur BBQ contest at Yards’ “Smoke ‘Em if Yous Got ‘Em.” I knew I did not have the experience of any of the other competitors, so I decided to give the old General Tso’s marinade a shot. It turned out so well that I actually took home 4th place on the first brisket I ever smoked.
General Tso’s Brisket
Ingredients for Marinade
(1) 5-7lb brisket
1 sweet onion (Vidalia if in season), chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2-3 tsp. of minced ginger or one 3-4 inch chopped fresh ginger root
1 Cup soy sauce
1 Cup chicken stock
1/2 Cup of sugar
2 tsp. of honey
Several tsp. of Sriracha (2-10 tsp. depending on your spice preference)
Several tsp. of Mae Ploy (Sweet chili sauce 2-5 tsp. depending on spice preference)
1/2 Cup of corn starch
2 tsp. of sherry
2 tsp. of white wine vinegar
1/2 pint of Bengal Gold IPA (or your favorite hoppy ale!)
-Chop onions, garlic, and ginger.
-Combine all of the ingredients, make sure the corn starch is mixed in well and not clumpy.
-The sauce will not remind you of General Tso’s yet, you must then reduce it.
-If you were going to make General Tso’s chicken, you could reduce the sauce all the way down over a medium high heat. For making a marinade, I usually only reduce it about halfway down.
-When over the heat, you will notice that the sauce will congeal on the bottom of the pan.
-Make sure you are stirring the sauce to get a consistent reduction.
-When the sauce seems to be getting thicker you can remove it from the heat.
-For making the sauce vs. the marinade, you would continue to reduce until it becomes the familiar sticky, dark sauce you have come to know and love.
-At this point you can take the brisket out, untrimmed, and let it sit in the marinade for 24-48 hours depending on how long you have. I always lean towards 48 if possible.
I don’t own a smoker, but I do work at a restaurant where I can borrow kitchen equipment. If you know how to smoke meats on your own, then just do it how you are comfortable. I have to make due with what I have available. For smoking the brisket, I get a large hotel pan and fill it with about 2 inches of water and hickory chips. Within the pan I place a perforated half hotel pan that sits above the water and chips. Place the brisket in the perforated pan and cover with tin foil. For the first hour or so I have the dual open burners on a medium setting. This gets the water boiling and the chips smoking. Always try to keep an eye on the brisket to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate too much. You will have to add water throughout the course of the smoking. After an hour, I reduce the heat to low and let it go until tender, usually around 4-6 hours. Throughout the course of the smoking I usually turn the brisket a few times to allow the smoke to penetrate both sides. After smoking, remove the brisket and place in a refrigerator to cool overnight, this will help with tenderness. The next morning, I get my grill lit and I finish the brisket on there. The non-fat side should go down first near the heat and then the fat side can go second, farther away from the heat. This will get your brisket up to temp and give it the nice charred grill marks that make it look amazing. Slice thinly and across the grain, then enjoy!