Championship Brisket

This past February my husband and I drove several hours with our grandsons to Lake Placid for the 2019 ECAC Hockey Championships taking place at the famous Herb Brooks Arena.

Cornell was in the finals against Clarkson, and it was EXCITING!

After trying time and time again to score on Clarkson during the second and third periods, Cornell sophomore forward Tristan Mullin tied up the game up with 5:41 left in regulation.

The crowd went nuts.

The Cornell fans were jumping and screaming and ready for OVERTIME!!!!

I was in my glory, bear-hugging my husband, and looking forward to creaming Clarkson…

…Until the grandsons tugged on my sweater while moaning that they were tired and wanted to go back to the hotel.

What????????

I tried everything in my power to talk them out of wanting to leave, assuring them that they were going to regret their decision.

I offered them hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, ice cream, tablet time. You name it, I bribed them with it.

Until they started to cry.

So, what choice did I have but to take the boys back to the hotel?

As we were leaving, the Cornell fans were shaking their heads in shock. “YOU’RE ACTUALLY LEAVING?” several asked in astonishment.

Trudging back to the hotel, people who couldn’t get tickets were hanging around the arena, listening to the game on their phones, while I made one last-ditch attempt to convince the grandsons to go back.

Forget it. They were determined to go sleepies.

When we got to the room, they collapsed on their beds and were sound asleep in minutes.

Me? Not so much.

It was early, and I didn’t know what the heck to do with myself.

I didn’t want to turn on the lights or the television for fear of waking the boys, so I started combing through my phone for something to do.

When in doubt my go-to phone fallback is not Facebook or Instagram.

It’s looking up recipes and then mixing and matching them to come up with my own personal spin.

So, here I was in the dark, with nothing to do.

What better way to spend my time but to look up brisket recipes?

In between writing down a combination of recipe ideas, I was getting a play by play update from my husband via text.

Text from Hubby: Galajda [the Cornell Goalie] just left with a knee injury! The net pushed on top of him from behind, and the idiot officials never stopped the play! I wish you could see this craziness.

My reply: Yeah, okay, thanks. Why don’t you rub it in?

Then I scribbled down a killer brisket rub I found.

Text from Hubby: Turns out Galajda might have also injured his neck while trying to lift the net off his back! McGrath replaced him with just 3:47 left in the game. The Cornell section is going insane!

My reply: I’m going insane sitting here in the pitch-black combing through brisket recipes.

Hmmm, add a little dark sugar to ramp up the gravy flavor.

I was furiously writing down my brisket ideas as my husband continued to furiously text.

Text from Hubby: Clarkson just scored 14:36 into the extra period, That’s it. They won 3-2. What a rip-off. So unfair.

My reply: What’s unfair is I’m stuck in this hotel room looking up freaking brisket recipes. And I’m getting hungry. Can you bring me back a hotdog?

The next morning, the boys wanted a blow by blow description of the game.

Really????  NOW you’re interested in the ECAC game of the century?

While my husband told them about the game, I told them about my search for the perfect brisket recipe, which I was going to name in their honor.

Then we packed up and drove several hours home as the boys exclaimed how they couldn’t wait until they came back for the championships next year.

Yeah, okay, as if I’ll drive a gazillion hours to look up brisket recipes next year.

I missed the most exciting hockey game of the season, but I was able to cobble together one heck of a…

ECAC Brisket Recipe
1 Brisket roast (4-5 pounds with at least ¼” fat all the way around.)
1 Pound bacon (or 1 pound turkey bacon marinated in ¼ cup Olive Oil)

Rub:
1 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For later use in the gravy: 2 cups beef broth, ¼ cup cider vinegar, ½ cup dark brown sugar

Mix the rub ingredients together and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place the oven rack in the upper-middle position.
Poke holes in the brisket with a knife and then rub the brisket with the mixture.
Place the bacon crosswise in a broiler-safe 9 x 13 pan. Do not use glass.
Place the brisket fat side down on top of the bacon.
Place the rest of the bacon crosswise on top of the brisket.
Tuck any loose ends of the bacon under the brisket.
If using turkey bacon, pour the remaining olive oil into the pan.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 5 hours.
After 5 hours, take the pan out of the oven.
Remove the foil and then set the bacon aside and carefully turn the brisket over fat side up. Then place the bacon back on top of the flipped brisket.
Replace the foil and return to the oven.
Turn the oven off and leave the brisket in the oven for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, pour the juice from the brisket into a large saucepan.
Remove the bacon from the brisket and discard.
Add the beef broth, vinegar and dark brown sugar to the saucepan.
Heat and simmer the gravy until the liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the sauce to the brisket and place it in the fridge overnight.
The next day, take the brisket out and remove any fat on the top.
Reheat at 250 degrees for about 1 hour.

In case you want to see the ECAC Championship craziness

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