Brisket for a hunger the size of Texas

When Katie Younger left Texas nearly a decade ago, she had no idea she was leaving brisket too.

“I was shocked,” she says about the ignorance surrounding large slabs of fat-blanketed beef. “I just thought it was such a common meal for people to have.”

In New England, beef brisket most often shows up as pot roast. In Pennsylvania, you might find it braised with sauerkraut and dumplings or prepared as sauerbraten. Up and down the East Coast, Jewish-style brisket often has a pleasing sweet-and-sour glaze. (Lots of AFR readers love community member Andrea Golden’s [savory brisket recipe|].) But in Texas, brisket usually means an 8- to 12-pound slab of meat, swaddled in fat and smoked or slow-cooked with nothing but salt, pepper and a spray of Worcestershire sauce. In Katie’s family, brisket was set on the table every Sunday alongside black-eyed peas and a salad.

Now living in Washington, D.C., Katie has solved her brisket problem with assistance from her mom, who visits and helps Katie throw brisket parties for her friends. She’s even become a bit of a brisket evangelist. She auctioned off a brisket dinner that she figured would go for $50. But the bidding went sky-high, and brought in a Texas-sized contribution.

— Michele Kayal 

— AFR video by Carol Hallowell


Makes 8 to 12 servings

Katie Younger’s Texas Brisket

Beef brisket can be turned into pot roast, sauerbraten or any manner of stews. In Texas, it stands on its own. My American Roots contributor Katie Younger shared her mom's recipe.


  • 8-12 pound boneless whole beef brisket, untrimmed
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place brisket in a large roasting pan, fat side up.

Douse the meat with a good amount of Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle liberally with the garlic, salt and pepper.

Add water to the pan, until it stands about 1/2-inch high on all sides. Cover the pan with tin foil, and loosely tuck it under the sides.

Cook the brisket for 1 hour. Lower the heat to 325 and cook for 45 minutes per pound. Uncover the brisket for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Brisket should fall apart and be stringy when you pull it with a fork.

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