Le Rivage's Brisket Bourguignon
Chef Paul's brisket is marinated in wine for three days before being cooked, sliced, and restewed in the original marinade. The beef is served with carrots, potatoes, and onions, and tastes strongly of wine, making for an interesting take on a very classic French stew.
Wandering Que's Brisket Sandwich
Wandering Que's burnt ends were served on a sweet potato roll with sweet pickles; the compact sandwich was not quite as rich and savory as many of the other competitors, making for a bite that went down easily.
Eating over a dozen different types of brisket can be heavy work, and Wandering Que provided large jars of help-yourself-pickles to wash down the salt and the fat of the night.
Hill Country Barbecue made an appearance at last night's event, serving a simply-prepared brisket; smoked for 14 hours with post-oaked wood and served alongside a cucumber and shallot salad.
Hill Country Sauce
An event attendee douses her brisket from Hill Country in their famous sauce.
Mable's Smokehouse was another attendee who let the meat speak for itself; the husband-and-wife team served brisket with a dry Texas-style dry rub, smoked for 14 hours, then served with a tangy tomato-based barbecue sauce (a recipe from the husband's grandmother).
This year's Brisket King is Ducks eatery, with their brisket two ways; one is a traditional, smoked brisket, tender and lean in its peppery rub, and the other is a cured take on brisket, sliced thin after being aged and cold-smoked.
Tchoup Shop's brisket was one of the few last night that could be eaten without a fork. The petite biscuits proved to be a perfect scoop for the gravy-soaked brisket, the horseradish and scallion garnish serving as piquant counters to the rich meat.
Dear Bushwick took an English approach to the all-American tradition of barbecue. Their brisket was ground and mixed with warming spiced, then stuffed inside a beer sausage roll with an apple onion marmalade garnish.
The East Village Meat Market
One of the few non-smoked briskets last night was served by the J. Baczynsky Meat Market. Braised brisket was served simply atop a hearty bread spread with mustard, making for a simple, yet spicy and memorable dish amongst the big barbecue competitors.
Hometown Barbecue drew one of the longest lines last night, the gravy-slathered cheddar biscuits and fatty brisket proving to be a siren song that enticed many an attendee.
John Brown Smokehouse
This deceivingly simple-looking platter proved to be more complex than it looked; John Brown Smokehouse's brisket was actually a pastrami served with kimchi, a foie gras mustard, and a triangle of white bread.
Perhaps the most untraditional take on the barbecue brisket was the one served by Mokbar. Their brisket is cured in traditional spices, but then marinated in gochujang and served with seasoned rice and cucumber kimchi in nori, making for a spicy-sweet-salty bite reminiscent of bibimbap.
Keep Your Head Down
The guys at Fletcher's BBQ keep their heads down as they work to serve brisket fast enough to the hungry crowd.