American wagyu brisket was my fathers day gift with sausage baked beans and potato salad for sides. All I had to do was show up and make the mango margaritas while we waited for the brisket to finish, but I also brought some cheese dip.
Perfect weather with low humidity, mild temps and a light breeze set the stage for an idyllic setting on the patio. We watched the kids play, the dog romp and enjoyed some adult conversation while watching the smoker do its thing.
I find it misleading how American wagyu is marketed, because “American” is often reserved for the fine print. It’s not the same as the famous Japanese wagyu, it’s a cross between that and black angus. That does not mean it’s inferior, it’s different and better in two ways.
Full blood A-5 Japanese wagyu is so fatty and rich that a 3-4 ounce serving is plenty and the cost is astronomical, $55 per ounce or more. Bump that up to Kobe beef and quadruple that cost and add a plane ticket to Japan. The flavor is unbelievable but the small portions leave a full-grown man hungry.
American wagyu is gaining stature in its own right, because while the fat (read flavor) content is better than U.S. Prime, it’s not too high to enjoy a full portion. Bold flavor and reasonable price are what makes American wagyu so wonderful.
With such a well-marbled, gorgeous piece of meat it didn’t need injections typically used for lesser cuts of beef, just a basic salt and pepper rub. I wanted to taste the meat, not some exotic spices. It was cooked low and slow for fifteen hours start to finish, but YMMV according to weight and thickness. To prevent the bark from turning rock hard, we used Aaron Franklin’s technique and wrapped it in butcher paper mid-way through the process. When the cooking was complete we wrapped it in clean towels and let it rest in a cooler for the final two hours.
This may be the best father’s day gift of my son’s adult life. It took time and I know he didn’t get much sleep the night before checking on it every couple hours. It was worth it because it’s the best brisket I have ever tasted and I’ve eaten a lot of them. Kansas City, Texas nor Memphis have any better. It was so juicy and tender you could cut it with a plastic fork. This didn’t need sauce and that says a lot.
Here’s the step by step guide to the perfect Arkansas Originals brisket.