I often make these hearty, flavorful sandwiches when friends and family come to help out on the ranch. I can prepare most of this meal ahead of time—the meat and coleslaw can be made the day before I need to serve them—and the sandwiches are big and meaty enough to fill everyone up on a day full of hard work. (They’re also a favorite of Austin’s, because he loves sandwiches so much that he thinks of them as his favorite food group.) This recipe feeds six, but I usually double it to serve a crowd.
When you’re cooking brisket, make sure to leave all of the fat on the meat; it will melt off as it cooks and will add a lot of flavor to the finished dish.
You can cook the brisket and assemble the slaw (without the dressing) a day ahead of time. When it’s time to eat, simply reheat the meat in the oven and dress the slaw.
Pulled Brisket Sandwiches with Coleslaw
For the Brisket
- 4-6 pounds of brisket
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh orange
- 1 sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 2–3 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
For the Coleslaw
- 1/4 red cabbage
- 1/4 green cabbage
- 1/2 cup sweet peas, ends snapped
- 3 radishes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup parsley, leaves and thin stems only
For the Sandwiches
6 French rolls
Cut the brisket into large chunks and put them into a large bowl. Rub the meat with the chopped garlic, then season it generously with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the olive oil in a Dutch oven, squeeze the juice from the orange into it, and warm the mixture over high heat. Working in batches, brown the pieces of brisket on all sides until they have a nice, crusty-brown edges, about 10 minutes. (Be careful not to crowd the pan or the meat will not brown properly.) When the meat has cooked, set it to the side.
Add the onion and the pepper to the Dutch oven, along with any remaining garlic from the bowl, and cook everything over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the beef broth and all of the red wine to the pot and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and bay leaf to the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Put the beef back into the Dutch oven and add more beef broth if the meat is not fully submerged in the liquid. (If the beef is not covered by liquid, it will dry out in the oven.) Cover the Dutch oven and put it in the oven. Braise the brisket until it is tender enough that you can easily pull it apart with a couple of forks, about 4 hours.
While the brisket is braising, make the coleslaw: Cut the cabbages into slices about 1/2- to 1/4-inch thick and put them into a large mixing bowl. Chop the sweet peas, thinly slice the radishes, grate the carrots, then add them all to the bowl with the carrot. Put the olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, mustard, sesame seeds, and salt in a medium jar. Roughly chop the parsley and add it to the dressing. Close the jar securely and shake well to mix.
When the brisket is fully cooked, use two forks to tear and shred it. Add the dressing to the coleslaw and mix it well.
To assemble the sandwiches, cut the French rolls down the center, leaving them connected along one side. Dip the cut sides of the rolls into the liquid in the brisket, divide the meat between the rolls, and top each with some of the coleslaw.
Recipe featured on Episode 103 of Ranch To Table on Magnolia Network.
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Photos by Blakeney Sanford, Brian Skope