Along with a lot of things, such as beards, chihuahuas and avocados, we have almost certainly reached peak ‘pulled meat’ in this country and are now staring down at the abyss. What started from within the confines of American BBQ (which is a daft thing to say, given that as a cuisine or canon, it is simply massive) we have seen that prime staple of ‘pulled pork’ lurch and mutate into lots and lots of other areas; such as pulled chicken, pulled cheese and pulled green jackfruit. Admittedly, the latter does sound quite interesting, having been billed recently as the new pulled pork for vegetarians. But I do fear that the whole ‘pulled’ factor is already starting to get wearisome. Especially since I am about to introduce a recipe here for pulled brisket. So before you say ‘oh pull the other one,’ and nod off, hear me out.
Of course, pulled brisket is also very well known and you may have made it before. In the summer, on your barbecue long and low (using indirect heat) when it was hot and sunny. Do you remember that? No? Well never mind, this hardworking and cheap cut would normally be enjoyed at this time of year in a simpler incarnation, namely as boiled beef and carrots. That thoroughly British dish. You can still add some spice and heat to the mix though, to warm up the cockles at Christmas time. Which is where my cheat’s ‘Not Barbecued BBQ Brisket’ comes into play.
This recipe originally appeared on my blog and for the purposes of coming up with ideas for canapés, it immediately sprung to mind. A little goes a long way, so it is great for dishing out at parties, served up in sturdy leaves of chicory and dabbed with dots of fierce horseradish. The twist here comes with the introduction of fukujinzuke, a tart pickle made from mooli radish which is commonly used in Japanese food, particularly in curries. I’ve used it both in the cooking process and as a garnish here. To add extra tang to the shredded beef and because fukujinzuke is often a vivid bright red, it helps detract from the ‘pulled’ aspect of the dish.
Just in case someone pipes up and says ‘Oh no, not another bloody pulled meat dish’!
There’s always one.