A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 21, 2011
Chopped Brisket (sandwich)

Chopped brisket sandwiches are another alternative to sliced brisket sandwiches. The brisket is usually made from the “point”—a fattier slice. The brisket is chopped and is usually served with barbecue sauce.

It’s not known when the first “chopped brisket” sandwich was served, but the name began appearing in print with great frequency in the 1980s.


Amazing Ribs
Barbecue Beef Brisket Texas Style
By Meathead
(...)
There are two distinct muscles in a packer brisket: (A) A long flat rectangular lean muscle that sometimes comes to a point that is called the flat, and (B) a narrower, thicker, fattier, oval shaped muscle called the point. Got it? The flat is pointy and the point is round. Go figure.

The point lies on top of the flat and there is a layer of fat separating the two muscles. The flat makes nice uniform slices (think corned beef and pastrami), perfect for sandwiches or fanning out on a plate. Because one end is a lot thinner than the other, it often dries out as the thicker part of the clod cooks.
(...)
11) Pulled or chopped brisket. I’m not a big fan of this method since there is more surface area and the meat dries out quicker. But if you are drenching it with sauce, go for it. To make pulled or chopped brisket, after you remove the meat from the foil, cut off the thin end and slice it into strips. Then pull it apart into chunks and shards or chop it with a knife or cleaver. Splash on some sauce and serve on a bun

27 May 1982, Frederick (MD) News-Post, newspaper supplement ad:
Texas Barbecue
Chopped Brisket

lb. $3.99
(Safeway supermarkets—ed.)

Google News Archive
16 November 1983, Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, “The man and his ribs: Top-flight barbecue,” pg. 6, col. 3:
TEXAS HASH, for one. He likes to substitute his own Bum Special, or chopped brisket cooked in sauce, for part of the usual hamburger.

GoogleBooks
January 1985, Texas Monthly, pg. 62, col. 3:
Plump, moist whole chickens, sliced or chopped brisket, ham, links, and lean short ribs have been carefully smoked in the Texas tradition.
(Goode Company Barbeque in Houston—ed.)

12 July 1985, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Restaurants” by David Sarasohn, pg. F7, col. 4:
It is, perhaps, somewhat facile and even inaccurate to classify restaurants narrowly along lines of history, comedy and tragedy.

The barbecued chopped brisket sandwich is actually more like a sonnet.

Google Books
Roadfood and Goodfood:
Jane and Michael Stern’s coast-to-coast restaurant guides

By Jane Stern and Michael Stern
New York, NY: Knopf
1986
Pg. 413:
But with a nod to the Southland, Jack ladles his sliced or chopped brisket with a spicy tomato-based sauce that has a hint of sweetness you’d never find in traditional Texas or Arizona barbecues.

Google Books
February 1992, Texas Monthly, pg. 135, col. 1:
Though the rib plates and hot links are popular, we favor the heaping chopped-brisket sandwich generously doused with tart, sweet batbecue sauce.
(Arnold’s Texas Bar-B-Q in Dallas—ed.)

Google Books
Real Barbecue:
The classic barbecue guide to the best joints across the USA, with recipes, porklore, and more!

By Vince Staten and Greg Johnson
Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot
2007
Pg. 276:
The top half is used for chopped brisket. (“This is also known as the outside cut,” Beasy said, and it can be shredded. “When you go to a barbecue restaurant, you can ask for the outside cut; it’s like burnt ends.")

Chowhound—Home Cooking
help me cook this brisket for a bbq
(...)
As for cutting in half… I don’t think I’d cut it right down the middle. If you decide to cut it, I think I’d separate the point and the flat (there’s a rounder fattier hunk of meat sitting about 3/4 on top of a wider, flatter piece. The fattier one is the point, the wide flat one is the flat). Brisket sandwiches are most often from the “flat” portion. If you separate that, you might have room on your grill (not sure how big your grill is). Then you can indirectly grill the point too at another time (which makes for some amazing chilli, burnt ends, chopped brisket sandwiches, etc.).
(...)
By adamclyde on Jun 27, 2007 05:20AM

Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors
Monday, November 5, 2007
Chopped Brisket Question
Chopped Brisket is simply the ends of the brisket and the fatty parts with meat in them all chopped together into a great tasting concoction that you need to have a heart doctor with you when you eat. Chopping is just dicing and cutting the meat. It allows you to use the fatty meat and blend it together. You can control how moist the chopped is by how much fat you trim before chopping. The lean end of the brisket is best sliced; use the fat end of the brisket for chopped. You can simply cut it up or chop it with a knife or you can even use a food processor but most tend to chop it to much with the processor.
I add extra cracked pepper and sauce to my chopped and heat it in a crock pot. Then spoon onto a warm bun with onions, pickles and hot sauce.

The Texas BBQ Forum
JamesB
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:36 pm
Chopped brisket is usually what happens when a brisket cook goes bad here… Easy to cover up mistakes with a cleaver and some sauce!

I too like to seperate the flat/point and slice the flat and put the point back on for a few more hours to render or chunk it up and make burnt ends…

BombFood.com
Chopped Brisket
Posted: December 17, 2008
Description
Lets just call this the classic. The chopped brisket BBQ sandwich is one that is always on the menu at most bomb BBQ joints. Add a side of ribs and you are all set.

imafoodblog.com
Geoff
01/15/09
Brisket:
Getting to Know Your Meat.

(...)
If you are buying a pre-cut brisket, ensure that you are buying a piece of the flat that retains the layer of fat covering the meat. The only reason to buy the point only is if you plan on making chopped brisket sandwiches. (Since the point is almost entirely fat and connective tissue, it loses its structure when you cook it and doesn’t take well to slicing.)

LiveStrong
Chopped Brisket Sandwich
Submitted By: bhunter1953 on 2009-07-22
Chopped Brisket Sandwich Nutrition
Calories Fat Carbs Protein Sodium
510 32g 27g 22g mg

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Thursday, April 21, 2011 • Permalink


Since brisket is an inexpensive boneless cut, it does require a long, slow cook to break down the collagen in the connective muscle tissues.  Usually it will become tender after a few hours of cooking. It is usually available as a flat cut or a point cut. The flat cut is leaner, but the point cut has more flavor due to a bit of extra deckel fat.  I usually use the point cut to make brisket sandwiches.  I have a Weber Q320 portable gas grill that does a great job cooking brisket.


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