Brisket brings up strong feelings. It’s true — we see and hear comments all the time about our brisket. It triggers Texas road-trip memories, or New Jersey family feast memories. What often accompanies these memories is a question: Why does Rocklands do brisket the way we do? Here’s the whole story:
We like our brisket well-rested
John and the team ate a lot of brisket when plotting Rocklands. And as with all the sauces they tasted, there were things to love and things to change about the many briskets sampled. One biggie? A brisket right out of the smoker needs a little rest before it’s great to eat. The meat and juice need to come back together and calm down. So we pull our brisket out of the smoker, slice it, and set it aside for a snooze. Then when you order a brisket sandwich we pull the meat out and heat it up on the grill, giving the meat one more chance to sear–and the fat revealed by slicing a chance to melt and further flavor the meat.
That thin slicing?
Ah, you wonder why we do not have slabs of brisket in our sandwiches: It’s all about first dates. Thick-cut brisket is much more likely to do what we all dread — pull straight out of the sandwich and drop down your front at the first bite. We wanted a sandwich that stayed together, something you could safely order on your first evening out with your potential new honey. Thin-sliced brisket piles on the soft rolls we use, and stays between them when you bite. And honestly? We think it tastes better, too (less like pot roast) — read on.
Lots of surface for saucy caramelization
In many many taste tests we loved the way our sauce and thin-sliced brisket work together. Slicing the brisket thinly gives lots more surface area for saucy caramelization on the grill. We brush sauce on as we grill, so you get the most benefit from two different ways of cooking the brisket (smoker and grill).
A Philadelphia brisket story
Of course, just as you have YOUR brisket memory, John has his. Philadelphia — where John grew up — is the land of good skinny pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, piled high. And a pastrami/corned beef sandwich and a brisket sandwich — well, these are brothers, after all. So that skinny pastrami or corned beef from Philadelphia came south with a new twist in the Rocklands thin-sliced, caramelized, well-rested, smoked AND grilled brisket sandwich.
Put it all together and you have the Rocklands DC brisket. Come try one and let us know what you think.