Trisket is an idea I thought up for a friends annual Thanksgiving celebration, Fakesgiving, where we all gather and bring a dish to pass, pot luck style.
In honor of this yearly event, I took a beef brisket and stuffed it with ground turkey thighs, bread crumbs, bacon, roasted garlic, peppers, cranberries, leeks, mushrooms, shallot and flat leaf parsley.
Turkey inside of a brisket = trisket.
I started with a 6lb grass fed organic beef brisket from Whole Foods with a pocket cut in it to hold the stuffing. The brisket held up well using this method, as it is essentially a large muscle and up to the task of having a turkey stuffing crammed into it. All told, the stuffing added another 4-5 lb to the overall cooking weight. In hindsight I'm sure I could have gotten some more stuffing in there if I really wanted to.
For the turkey, I used ground thigh meat which had the best chance of making it though the 13 hours of cooking without drying out. To add some Thanksgiving flavor, I mixed the ground turkey with heads of roasted garlic, leeks, shallots and dried cranberries.
The key to this stuffing is to maintain moisture throughout the long cooking time. The ample fat marbling of a beef brisket did a great job keeping the meat moist, however I also added thick cut bacon to the mix to help baste the stuffing as well. I used a mixture of bread crumbs and cremini mushrooms as a binder and to absorb moisture.
The brisket was stuffed the day before cooking and rubbed with a mixture of sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and onion and garlic powders. After rubbing, the brisket was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, placed onto a cookie sheet and stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator for an overnight rest.
At about 4am the next morning, I took the brisket out to warm up while I made coffee and started a fire for the smoker. While the idea of letting meat rise to room temperature before placing on the grill works great with steaks, 30 minutes was not enough time to do much for a 10 lb roast and the meat was still refrigerator cold when it was placed in the smoker.
This brisket was smoked over apple and hickory wood at 200 - 215 degrees for 10 hours, refilling the smoker every 45 - 60 minutes to maintain this low temperature. I used a spray bottle filled with beef stock and apple cider to baste the meat when the grill was open.
After smoking all day, the brisket was then placed in a roasting pan with some of the basting liquid, covered tightly with foil, and placed into a 190 degree oven for another 3 hours to finish cooking.
The end result was a great beef brisket on the outside and a turkey meatloaf on the inside. The brisket turned out perfect with a great looking 1/4 inch smoke ring. The turkey was moist and had all the smells of a Thanksgiving meal.
The Trisket was served with a vinegar-based cranberry, peach and habanero barbeque sauce on the side. The use of fresh cranberry and peach added a tartness and sweetness to play against the heat of the habanero chili. While I can't see myself making a Trisket again anytime soon (it really was a two day process) I do think this barbeque sauce would match nicely with slow smoked ribs or chicken.
Thanks to Chef David Koon for his help taking this idea from idea to application.