So you’ve gone and done it. You’ve smoked yourself a big, juicy brisket and — may I say — it’s looking mighty fine. You’ve trimmed it up nice and neat, sliced it up all real good, and now you’re ready to call everyone to the table and chow down.
But wait just a minute there! Don’t you dare go wasting all that delicious juice that’s been collecting in the bottom of your water pan. Yes, siree, I’m talking about the liquid gold that came from cooking up the brisket: that savory, smoky, beefy goodness that’s too darn precious to throw away.
In this article, I’m going to show you some delicious ways to use up every last drop of that brisket juice, so you can savor every last bit of that meaty flavor. So hold onto your hats and read on, folks, because your friend Sammy’s about to spill the beans on some pitmaster magic right here. Here are my tried-and-tested ways to use up all of that brisket juice.
#1. Turn the Brisket Juice Into Steakhouse-Like Sauce
I hope you’re ready to get your sauce game on, because you and I are about to talk about some finger-licking good brisket sauce from that leftover juice. It’s so easy to do, you won’t believe you ever tossed that precious liquid gold in the trash.
Start by pouring out all of that brisket juice into a stainless steel frying pan. You know the kind — the shiny frying pans you keep in the kitchen. Set that pan on the stove and crank up the heat to medium-high. We’re getting this sauce party started!
While you’re bringing that juice to a boil, it’s a great time add flavor. A pinch of salt will do the trick, along with a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of vinegar, and either a tablespoon of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Now, I don’t know about you all, but just thinking about it is already making my mouth water.
Once you’ve got all that goodness in the pan, boil it down for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s thick and viscous. You want it to be like the fancy sauce they pour over filet mignon in those high-end steak joints. Yes, sir, we’re gonna elevate that leftover juice to the top shelf.
And when it’s all said and done, you can pour it over your brisket or use it as a dip. This sauce is so darn tasty, you’ll want to put it on everything, trust me. It’s like homemade BBQ sauce, but better.
Hint: Dip your fries in it or pour it over mashed potatoes. Don’t you worry, just try it out and you can thank me later.
#2. Make Brisket-Juice Rice
I’m going to let you in on another secret: you can use leftover brisket juice to cook rice.
Now, you might be thinking, “Sammy, have you gone bonkers? Why would I cook rice in brisket juice when I can just use plain old water?” Well, let me tell you, friend, because it’s going to add a whole new level of flavor to that rice that you never even knew was possible.
Here’s what you do: instead of using plain water, pour that juicy goodness right into your pot along with the rice. I’m talking about all of that liquid gold that’s been collecting at the bottom of your water pan. Add enough water to make the proper amount of liquid for your rice (the golden rule is 1.5 to 2 cups of water for every cup of rice), and then cook it up like you normally would.
Now, I’ve got to say, this works best with white rice, like American long-grain rice. It’ll soak up all of those brisket flavors like a sponge, and when it’s all cooked up, you will have a side dish bursting with savory, meaty goodness. Trust me, folks will be asking for seconds.
Hint: Throw in a few pieces of brisket into the cooked rice while you’re at it, especially the parts with the black, crispy bark!
#3: Pour It Into a Vegetable Soup or Beef Stew
One great way to use leftover brisket juice is to add it to a soup or stew. You can use it in place of (or in addition to) beef broth or stock, depending on how salty you want your dish to turn out. The meaty, smoky aroma and flavor of the brisket juice can add a delicious twist to classic beef stews.
To do this, simply add the brisket juice to the pot along with your other ingredients, and let it simmer to allow the flavors to blend together. You’ll be surprised at how much depth and richness the leftover juice can bring to your favorite soup or stew recipes.
So the next time you have some brisket juice leftover, don’t throw it away. Add it to your vegetable soup or beef stew to ameliorate the aroma and flavor to another level.
Hint: Add a pinch or two of smoked paprika to your soup or stew.
A Word of Caution: It’s a Perishable Food Product
There’s no doubt that leftover brisket juice can add an irresistible smoky flavor to your soups and stews. But it’s important to handle it with the utmost care from a food safety perspective.
You see, just like any other perishable food product, the juice must never be left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. If it’s left out for too long, harmful bacteria can grow and render it unsafe to consume. Once its temperature drops below 140°F, what the good folks at the USDA have dubbed the danger zone, it must be cooled promptly and refrigerated to prevent bacteria from taking hold.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to use your leftover brisket juice within 3 to 4 days — or freeze it for later use. So, my dear friend, be sure to handle your leftover brisket juice with the care it deserves, and enjoy its savory goodness in your favorite recipes without a worry in the world.