Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

Smoky Brisket Sandwiches with Texas Barbecue Sauce



Servings: 24


  • 2 whole beef briskets, 6 pounds each: presoaked mesquite, hickory, and/or apple wood chips (optional)
  • 12 Kaiser rolls, split
  • 3 Tbs good-quality chili powder
  • 3 Tbs paprika
  • 2 Tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tsp crushed dry thyme
  • 1 Tsp ground cumin
  • salt (optional)
  • 2 Tsp olive oil
  • 4 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 4 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs dry mustard
  • 4 Tsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 Cups Ketchup
  • 4 Cups bottled chile sauce
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 1 Cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large bay leaves, broken in half
  • salt (optional)


  1. Combine the ingredients for the spice rub: 3 tablespoons (45 ml) good-quality chili powder, 3 tablespoons  paprika, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed dried thyme, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, salt (optional).
  2. Store in a covered jar until ready to use.
  3. Rub the spice mixture into both sides of the briskets, coating evenly. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate, covered, for up to 24 hours. Return to room temperature before cooking.
  4. To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 325° (160°C, Gas Mark 3). Wrap the briskets separately in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in a shallow baking pan on a rack. Fill the bottom of the pan with 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat is very tender, adding more water to the bottom of the pan, if needed.
  5. Light a grill. Add presoaked wood chips (if using). Unwrap the briskets and grill over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes per side, until meat is nicely browned.
  6. Transfer meat to a carving board and let stand for 15 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain. (May be done ahead to this point: spread the top of each brisket with 1 cup of one of the barbecue sauces, rewrap in foil, and refrigerate.)
  7. To reheat the brisket. place the wrapped packages in a 300° (149°C) oven for about 1 hour, until meat is hot.
  8. Just before serving, reheat the barbecue sauces to a simmer. Transfer the hot meat to a serving platter and place a basket filled with the sliced rolls alongside. Offer the sauces in decorative bowls to spoon over the beef as your guests assemble their own sandwiches.
  9. Texas Barbecue Sauce: teaspoon olive oil, 2 large sweet onions (finely chopped), 2 jalapeño chiles (seeded and minced), 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 cups ketchup, 2 cups bottled chile sauce, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 large bay leaves (broken in half), salt (optional). 
  10. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, chile, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions are limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the dry mustard, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until spices are fragrant.
  11. Add the remaining ingredients; stir to blend well. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring often for about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Use the sauce at once or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Reheat before using. Makes 7 cups (1,680 ml) sauce.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (roll + 3 ounces beef & 2 tablespoons Texas barbecue sauce): 374 calories (27% calories from fat), 32 g protein, 11 g total fat (4.2 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 79 mg cholesterol, 617 mg sodium

Diabetic exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 carbohydrate (2 bread/starch), 1 vegetable




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