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Slow Cooker Firecracker Brisket
Servings: 4
: 352 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 675 g brisket*
  • 2 red onions quartered
  • 1-2 ribs of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika can up to 1 tbsp
  • ½ tbsp mustard powder or use English mustard
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4-6 dried optional, whole smokey chillies
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 25 ml cider vinegar
  • 400 g can of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce this is for savoury saltiness so use soy if you can’t get this in your part of the world
  • *=This recipe will easily be scaled up with larger pieces of brisket and the meat goes much much further than if you were serving the equivalent amount as a roasted joint or steak. Just check you can fit it in your slow cooker first if you buy a whopper!
  1. If your brisket is tied in butcher’s string, remove it before you start cooking. Sear the meat in your slow cooker pan if it is hob safe (check the instruction manual!). If not, use a large saucepan.

  2. Throw the onions, celery and garlic into a food processor and blitz until they are very finely chopped but if you wish to make them more paste like add a splash of water – might be handy if you have veg fearing little ones in your family.
  3. Remove the brisket from the pan to a dish and add the oil followed by the blitzed veg. Cook stirring well to prevent sticking for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in the bay leaves, spices, mustard powder and sugar and cook until fragrant – another minute should do.
  5. Add in your vinegar, tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and stir very well to encourage the tomatoes to breakdown if whole. Now if you were cooking this on the hob you would be adding water to allow for evaporation. Trust me and restrain yourself – add no more than 75ml water which you can swish around in the insides of the tomato can but no more. You get next to no evaporation with a slow cooker.
  6. Nestle the brisket in, rejoice that 10 minutes work have yielded a superb dinner in the making and transfer to your slow cooker base to cook on low for 8-12 hours. Brisket needs a long slow cook to tenderise the meat so if you are delayed on your way home, no fear – it will only taste better for the extra hour or two!
  7. When ready to serve, the brisket will fall apart with ease – encourage it to do so with a couple of forks. Leftovers freeze very well but serve with your carbohydrate of choice and know that a little bit of sharp cheese goes exceptionally well against the sweet smokiness of the meat.
To make in the Instant Pot:
  1. Proceed as above but essentially, seal the brisket on Sauté mode then remove and cook the puréed vegetables in the pot briefly. Add the spices, canned tomatoes and 75ml water and mix very well. Return the brisket to the pot and give it 60 minutes on Manual High. 

  2. You can do a QPR or NPR as desired and carefully retrieve the meat. Shred with two forks. It will be extremely tender. Reduce the sauce to desired consistency using Sauté and return the shredded brisket to the pot. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine