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Recipe: BBQ Brisket Mac & Cheese – Luella’s Southern Kitchen

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May 28 is National Brisket Day! Brisket, often referred to as barbecue in the South, requires slow cooking on low heat to make it perfectly tender. Whether you like it rubbed in spicy chili powder or sweet brown sugar, there are countless ways to enjoy it.

Chef and Owner Darnell Reed of Chicago’s Luella’s Southern Kitchen shares his BBQ Brisket recipe, which pairs perfectly with his delicious mac & cheese. His recipes are inspired by the cooking of his Mississippi great-grandmother and extensive research in the South, and captures the essence of southern cuisine. Luella’s Southern Kitchen is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Square at 4609 N. Lincoln Ave.

Luellas BBQ Brisket

Luella’s Southern Kitchen BBQ Brisket Mac & Cheese
Courtesy of Chef Darnell Reed

Ingredients for Mac and Cheese:

  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • 3 oz cheese sauce (recipe for sauce below)
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 3 oz barbecue brisket
  • 6.5 oz cooked pasta
  • 1.5 T barbecue bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the heavy cream, cheese sauce and American cheese in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the brisket and continue to simmer until the meat is heated through. Add the pasta and season it with salt and pepper. Toss the mixture, letting the sauce continue to form and thicken until it coats the pasta evenly. Season more, if necessary, or serve with toasted bread crumbs.

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:

  • 6 oz butter
  • 6 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 T mustard powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups chopped Spanish onion
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 12 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz grated Romano cheese
  • 1.5 pounds American cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally for two or three minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cook for one to three minutes, stirring constantly so the roux doesn’t brown. Whisk constantly. Add dry mustard, paprika, bay leaves and milk until no visible lumps. Turn heat to low and bring to a slow simmer, whisking occasionally. Continue to simmer and whisk until you achieve nappe consistency. Remove the sauce from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain sauce, add cheeses and whisk to melt cheese.

Ingredients for Barbecue Spice for Brisket:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 T granulated onion
  • 2 T granulated garlic

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a robot coupe for about 15 seconds until they are mixed evenly. Store in a cool, dry place, covered. (NOTE: This is enough rub to season one brisket up to 12 pounds.)

Directions for Brisket:

Rub the brisket all over with the barbecue seasoning mix. Smoke the fat side up at 215 degrees for about 12 hours, or one hour and 10 minutes per pound at the same temperature.

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