At first glance, this recipe seems like a lot of steps but once you taste the result you will understand why you made the effort! The Belly Brisket has lots of delicious beef fat marbling and to get it rendered and super tender just takes a little braising, a little resting, and a little grilling.
Just a little context in case you aren’t familiar with this cut. It isn’t the same as the brisket, it’s actually the cut of meet right behind the brisket. It goes by a lot of names: beef belly, beef navel, navel brisket, or beef plate. This is anatomically equivalent to pork belly, the same cut that is smoked and sliced for bacon, so it has the same banding with alternating layers of muscle and fat.
Braised and BBQ’d Beef Belly Brisket
Servings: 4 people
- 2 lb Beef Belly Brisket
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- BBQ sauce of your choice to finish on the grill
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup good quality beef stock
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- In a Dutch oven or large, oven-safe pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat the belly dry, generously season it with salt and pepper, and allow it to brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the belly and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onion, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the beef belly that have adhered to the bottom of the pot. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for two more minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook with the garlic and onion until the paste darkens to a terracotta color. Pour in the red wine and beef stock, as well as the thyme and rosemary, and gently stir to combine.
- Place the belly in the braising liquid, ensuring that the meat is not fully immersed in the liquid, cover, and put in the oven to braise for 2.5-3 hours, until the meat is fork-tender.
- Allow the braised beef belly to chill in the braising liquid overnight in the fridge. This makes sure the meat is as tender as possible and absorbs the most flavor.
- Pull the belly from the fridge and remove the fat cap that has accumulated on the surface and set aside. Take the belly from the braising liquid, blot dry, and place on a plate to air dry while you heat the grill.
- Turn on the grill and allow to heat to a medium high temperature.
- Melt the solidified fat from the braise over medium low heat in a small saucepan. Slice the belly into one inch strips and brush with the fat.
- Place the beef strips over direct heat on the grill. You’ll want to grill each slice for about 3-4 minutes per side, and then brush with your favorite barbecue sauce in the last couple minutes of grilling, aiming for close to 10 minutes overall, removing the meat from the grill once it is thoroughly browned, lightly charred, and glistening with sauce.