beef brisket with

bourbon barbecue sauce

  • 3kg beef brisket, untrimmed 
  • 1 head garlic, halved 
  • 1 red onion, quartered 
  • 3 fresh bay leaves 
  • 6 sprigs thyme 
  • 1 long red chilli, halved 
  • 2 cups (350g) brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 
  • 1.5 litres water 
  • 1 cup (250ml) apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup (250ml) bourbon

bourbon barbecue sauce 


  • ¼ cup (30g) smoked paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • ½ cup (175g) honey 
  • 1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder 
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the beef, fat-side down, in a large, deep-sided roasting pan. 
  2. Add the garlic, onion, bay leaves, thyme, chilli, sugar, peppercorns, water, vinegar and bourbon. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 4 hours or until tender. 
  3. Remove the beef from the cooking liquid, discarding the liquid, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. 
  4. To make the bourbon barbecue sauce, place the paprika, cayenne pepper, vinegar, tomato paste, honey, sugar and mustard powder in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes or until thickened. 
  5. Remove from the heat, add the bourbon and stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely. 
  6. Preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue over low heat. Pat the brisket dry with absorbent paper and cook, fat-side down, for 6–8 minutes each side or until charred. 
  7. Top with the barbecue sauce to serve. Serves 8–10.
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Reader ratings (3.39) 321251
donna hay team

Hi James, as mentioned in an earlier comment - no the paprika quantity is not a mistake. However, you may of course be guided by your personal preference. The dh team

James Cousland

Please confirm if, as suggested, the paprika quantity is a mistake. Cheers

Emma Kemmis

Delicious, we had a fire tonight and cooked the potatoes, sweet potato and corn in the coals. The slow cooked smokey brisket went perfectly. I cooked the brisket in the slow cooker, worked well. I was also surprised with the large quantity of paprika but when simmered and with all the yummy goodness of brown sugar and honey was balanced well.

donna hay team

Hi Julian, the paprika should loose some of its intensity when the sauce cooks. It is a strong sauce by itself but when served with the brisket it matches well. Of course, if you prefer you can always make yours with a little less paprika to your own taste. Happy cooking!

donna hay team

Hi Peter, 3kg of beef brisket will serve approximately 8-10 people. Enjoy! The DH team

Peter Zeegers

How many would 3kg of beef serve?

Julian Regan

I was very disappointed with the sauce as the 1/4 cup of paprika was overpowering and made it inedible. This has to be an error, surely

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