What To Do With Leftover Smoked Brisket? – An Easy Chili Recipe
You just enjoyed a relaxing weekend. You had no work, family and friends gathered around, and maybe you enjoyed a beer or two (or a whole pack, no judgement).
But the highlight of your weekend was cooking that brisket you had been thinking about the previous week. You took the time to rub it down with your favorite spices, and slowly smoked it until it fell apart. It was a mouthwatering feast!
But now it’s Monday. The work week has begun. You are feeling tired, and also uninspired by your dinner options.
But remember that relaxing weekend you just enjoyed? Remember that brisket you cooked on the weekend? Have you ever wondered what you can do with leftover brisket besides sandwiching it between bread? That’s boring the second time around, let’s be honest.
Introducing, Smoked Brisket Chili Recipe.
I put this recipe together because I was feeling in the dumps about my cooking as well. My regular recipe ideas were getting old, and I also didn’t want to cook more meat for another meal. I quickly realized that Smoked Brisket Chili was truly an easy, and simple, recipe. I could turn my leftovers and weeknight meals into a feast to look forward to after a long, hard day at work.
Since I usually make brisket a few days ahead, I have already done the hard work when chili night rolls around. If you know how to dump ingredients in a pot, and cook them without burning them, then this recipe is for you!
Let me help you make this mouthwatering chili. The ingredients are simple, but you will find that the smoked brisket does wonders to regular old chili ingredients. Let’s go!
Ingredients you will need:
Notes Before Beginning
If you like smaller, finer bits of meat, chop the brisket. If you like more chunky chili, go for the inch cubes option. You could also do a mixture of the two for an interesting combination. For the tomatoes, if you prefer a more chunky chili with a bite to it, use whole tomatoes and the juice. Using tomato sauce will make the chili more thick, if you like that.
The easiest way to mince garlic is to use a garlic press. If you don’t own one, no worries! Just peel the garlic cloves and chop them as finely as you can.
If you like extra spicy chili, add another teaspoon or two of chili flakes to the pot, chipotle peppers or red onions. You can even add hot sauce like Tabasco or Frank’s to add another level of spice and flavor, if that is your thing.
If you are not sure about adding sugar to chili, just know that it helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. It makes the chili less tart, too.
You can also use cornstarch if you do not have Masa flour, and if it's to your taste, you can add kidney beans or black to your chili, too.
1. Saute the aromatics:
In a large pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until just hot. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic gives off its aroma. This is the base of your chili, and will flavor the whole pot with just these little amounts of ingredients.
2. Adding the main ingredients:
Add the brisket to the pot, along with the tomatoes, spices, sugar, and water. Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated; when the sugar is dissolved and there are no chunks of spices left. Let this simmer on low for at least an hour, mixing occasionally, as to not let it scorch or burn.
3. Thicken the chili:
Mix the masa flour (or cornstarch, if that’s what you’re using), into a small bowl with a little bit of cold water (maybe a tablespoon or a little less). This will make a runny paste. Stir the paste into the chili and let it simmer for another 30 mins, while still on low heat.
4. Serving and Toppings:
Serve the chili while it’s hot and enjoy with some homemade cornbread! You can choose to top with sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese, jalapenos, or crackers. The options are endless!
Did you enjoy learning how to make this Smoked Brisket Chili? I hope you enjoyed reading and following the instructions in this tutorial. Just as much as I love to make and eat it!
This chili is a food saver, but it also can save you money. Maybe this recipe will even save you a trip to the grocery store. I know that’s the last place I want to go after a day of work! One more money saving tip: If you can’t finish the whole pot of chili, freeze it in gallon sized zippy bags.
It will stay fresh for weeks this way, just pull it out and heat it up whenever you get that hankering for chili!
Enjoy the difference the smoked brisket makes in chili, versus ground beef or other meats. It really adds a complexity that I didn’t believe existed! I bet if you were to take this recipe and enter it into a chili cook-off, it would win.
Be sure to share this recipe the next time you want to have dinner with your friends and family. It is an easy brisket chili recipe, the total time cooking it is pretty short, and it's a great comfort food to warm up on colder evenings. Remind them that they don’t have to stress about cooking whole new cuts of meat every time they want a good, hearty chili. Better than that, remind them that no good smoked brisket must ever go to waste!
Leave your comments, pictures, and suggestions in the comment section below. Tell us what you liked (or didn’t like) about the recipe, and perhaps share your favorite ways to cook your brisket prior to making your chili.
Share the toppings you like to add before you eat it, too! I would love to hear your opinions and ideas on the Smoked Brisket Chili, or about how you won that blue ribbon at your Superbowl Party for best chili recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is corned beef and brisket the same thing?
Both of these items are beef, but they’re not exactly the same thing. Brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the breast section of a cow. It’s a well-used muscle, so it contains a lot of collagen and connective tissue. Corned beef, on the other hand, is a cured form of brisket. After it’s brined and cured, it’s simmered low-and-slow until it becomes tender. Since it has been cured, it’s usually bright red.
What’s the difference between Texas chili and regular chili?
Texas chili is a very specific kind of chili. In general, a chili is a thick stew consisting of chunks of meat (usually beef), beans, onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, and various spices. Texas chili is very specific because it does not contain any beans at all - just meat. It also usually doesn’t have any tomatoes in the mix. You may find it called a “bowl of red.”
What’s the best secret ingredient for chili?
Many people have a secret ingredient for chili, and they’re not likely to tell you what it is! We find the best chilis are made with high-quality beef, like this leftover smoked brisket chili. For this recipe, we added a secret - masa flour - to thicken up the stew and give it a delicious mouthfeel. Other people add things like cinnamon, red wine, dark beer, cocoa, pureed peppers, coffee, and more!
How long can you keep leftover brisket?
In general, brisket is good for three to four days in the refrigerator (or, you can freeze it for up to three months). The best way to ensure it’s still high-quality is to use air-tight containers or freezer bags. You could also wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
What makes chili spicy?
There are a few ingredients you can add to make your chili spicier. You could puree hot peppers (like chipotle in adobo) to give the dish a deep spiciness, or use hot sauce to give it a tangy edge. You could also use dried spices (like chili powder or cayenne), or add fresh diced chili peppers, such as jalapenos or habaneros.