Holidays at Kincaid Ranch mean that I, Stuka, the ranch German Shepherd, get to sample mom’s dishes before the humans. This year, mom took a simple cut of high-quality, grass-fed beef and made it into a holiday meal. We didn’t need prime rib or turkey or ham. Dinner was delicious, with an all natural Kincaid Ranch grass-fed beef brisket, smoked and then braised to perfect tenderness. Of course, mom also gave me my very own gift – a whole femur bone, on top of the brisket samples.  Even though I love scraping my teeth along a good bone, I also see why the humans enjoy simple cuts of beef with an elegant sauce. If you want to sample how to turn a brisket into a holiday meal, try this recipe. It has my Stuka Stamp of approval.

Kincaid Ranch Grass-fed Holiday Beef Brisket

Rub the brisket with salt, pepper, and your favorite rub. Smoke the seasoned brisket, fat side up, for 2 hours, on a low smoke heat. Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, unwrap the brisket and grill it on high heat on both sides until seared (you will see grill marks on the meat, approximately 10 minutes per side). Place the seared brisket, fat side up, in a braising pan. Into the braising pan with the brisket, pour two beers, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, and 2 cups beef broth. Add 1 chopped onion and several slices fried bacon, and cover with a lid or tin foil. Using a wood-fired grill (such as a Traeger) or your oven, braise the brisket for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees. Pour in more beer to bring the liquid above the brisket, and braise the brisket for another 1.5 hours or until the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 203 degrees. Remove the brisket from the heat source, and place on a cutting board. Let the brisket rest for at least 15 minutes, then slice the brisket thinly. Serve the brisket hot with home-made cranberry honey mustard (see below).

Cranberry Honey Mustard

Pour 2/3 of a cup of red wine vinegar over 1/2 cup whole mustard seeds, cover, and let soak overnight. The next day, the mustard seeds should be soft and plump. Place two cups fresh cranberries, ½ cup red wine, and 1 cup honey in a sauce pan. Heat until the cranberries pop, then simmer until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes). Note that this sauce will not be as thick as a cranberry sauce made with cane sugar. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar soaked mustard seeds to the cranberry mixture, stir, cover, and refrigerate. Serve with Kincaid Ranch Holiday Beef Brisket.

Optional sides that go great with this brisket: Buttermilk corn bread muffins, grilled jalapeños stuffed with cheddar and wrapped with bacon, brussel sprouts roasted with garlic, bacon, and gorgonzola, and prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus with lemon slices.