Brisket is a large cut of beef that is cooked low and slow to break down its tough connective tissue, which melts into the meat resulting in incredibly flavorful and tender bites. Leftovers are not uncommon or unwelcome --brisket's rich, beefy flavor improves overnight and makes a great ingredient for inclusion in many dishes that include snacks like brisket nachos, hearty soups and meat pies. While leftover brisket can be incorporated into many meals, you should take care when reheating to prevent the meat from drying out.
Smoked brisket: Cooked slowly over low heat in a smoker, smoked brisket acquires a penetrating smokiness from the wood chips used to cook the meat. Smoked brisket leftovers are a welcome addition to nachos, chopped brisket sandwiches and chili.
Pot roast-style brisket: Slowly cooked in the oven or in a slow cooker, brisket prepared this way shreds easily and can be seasoned to take on whatever flavors the cook desires. Keeping the seasonings simple, such as using chili powder, garlic powder, dried mustard and salt and pepper; braising in beef stock or beer produces fantastic results that can be incorporated into everything from empanadas to enchiladas.
- Brisket nachos -- Pot roast-style and smoky brisket make a great snack when shredded and placed on top of a bed of nachos. Assemble the nachos with desired ingredients such as jalapeno peppers and shredded cheese and heat up in the oven until hot.
- Brisket dumplings and empanadas -- Shredded brisket makes a great filling for dumplings and empanadas. Combine with ingredients like chopped scallions and bell pepper to create a winning flavor combination. Add a drizzle of hot sauce or barbecue sauce for flavor and to keep the contents moist as they cook.
- Brisket biscuits and gravy - After you’ve made your signature gravy, add chopped or shredded brisket and let it heat up. The gravy keeps the brisket moist and the brisket contributes maximum flavor while providing a tasty twist on a classic breakfast dish.
- Brisket hash -- Hash provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate leftover brisket into breakfast. Wait until you’ve browned the hash browns and then stir in leftover shredded or chopped brisket to reheat. Spice it up and make it your own with the addition of bell pepper, mushrooms, onions or garlic.
Lunch and Dinner
- Chopped or shredded brisket sandwiches -- A sandwich is a no-brainer for leftover brisket. Add chopped, shredded or sliced brisket and any other ingredients you would like to a sandwich for a quick and easy meal. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different types of sandwiches; use a panini press to create a brisket panini or sneak brisket into a grilled cheese.
- Enchiladas, tacos and quesadillas -- Leftover brisket can easily be incorporated into enchiladas, tacos and quesadillas. Encased by tortillas and surrounded by shredded cheese, brisket safely reheats in enchiladas and quesadillas to moist, tender results. When reheating for use in tacos, try gently heating brisket on the stove top in a cooking liquid such as beer or covered in the microwave with a little liquid such as beef stock to keep it moist.
- Brisket soups, stews and chili -- Soups, stews and chili provide an excellent opportunity for using up leftover brisket. Simply chop or shred and add to the likes of hearty, gravy-based stews, bean chili or vegetable soups to add beefy flavor.
- Brisket pizza and brisket pasta sauce -- Paired with sliced onion, chopped bell pepper, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, brisket makes an excellent pizza topping. Coat the brisket in sauce before topping to keep the brisket moist as the pizza cooks. You can also add shredded brisket to homemade or store-bought pasta sauces to instantly up the flavor of pasta dishes.
- Meat pies -- Meat pies typically call for beef, and leftover brisket makes for an interesting twist. Pairing brisket with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas, and onions creates a hearty, well-rounded meal out of leftover brisket in everything from pot pies to shepherd’s pies.
The USDA recommends heating leftover brisket to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent food-borne illness. Use a food thermometer inserted into the center of the reheated brisket to accurately measure the internal temperature.