Wine and Coffee Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is one of my favorite main courses. When I find a good deal, I like to grab one to cook up for a nice dinner. I've tried both the oven-roasted variety and the slow-cooked crock pot style, both with outstanding results. Determining a favorite of those two is a challenge, as the flavor for each was great. The advantage to the oven is the control over the cooking temperature and the ability to cool a brisket of any size, whereas in the crock pot you can just turn it on and walk away. I mean, setting something up to cook then going about your day is a great option to a workaholic like me. This time around, I grabbed a fairly small brisket, weighing just over a pound.

One of my favorite local joints, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, has the best beef brisket. It's moist and full of flavor, and one of the things I've learned about it is that they use coffee in their rub. So for this recipe, I decided to slow cook this lil' brisket in some red wine after rubbing it down with some coffee and seasonings.

I rinsed the beef off in some cold water, then rubbed some ground coffee (of the unflavored variety, of course), salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder all around the outside. I added some minced garlic to the bottom of the crock pot after spraying it lightly with some olive oil, then put the brisket in over it. Lastly, I poured some marsala wine in so the brisket would have some moisture to cook in.

I turned the crock pot onto low (the best setting, when you have the time), and left it to cook. Because this brisket was such a small cut, I figured it wouldn't take long to cook, so I came back after 3 hours and it was starting to shred, but I decided to give it another hour to make sure it was fully cooked.

By the end of the cooking time, the brisket was falling apart when touched with a fork.

The only problem with this was that there wasn't more!  Though I often eat brisket in sandwich form, I enjoyed this as it's own main course.  Red wine is a fantastic accompaniment for red meat, and this brisket continued support for that theory.  The wine flavor was subtle, but the meat was SO moist.  It was not a fatty cut, yet still did not come out dry.  Often, I find that the fattier part of the brisket is moist (that's common sense), but the less moist portion of the brisket to be too dry for my taste.  This came out quite differently, so I was very pleased.  I have heard before that alcohol is a great meat tenderizer, so perhaps that was an additional benefit of cooking with wine.  The coffee also added a good flavor, while not overwhelming that meaty taste.  As I like spicier flavors, I would probably add a dash of cayenne or some more chili peppers (maybe even a jalapeno!) on the next go-around.  Thank you, crock pot, for another simple meal.

Wine and Coffee Beef Brisket Recipe


1 pound beef brisket
2 tablespoons ground coffee
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup marsala wine


Rinse brisket in cold water. Combine coffee, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder in a small bowl, then rub into brisket. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add garlic. Add brisket to crock pot and pour in wine. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours on low heat.

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