These beef brisket sliders are perfect for game day, a backyard barbecue or even if you just have leftover brisket that you need to use!Jump to Recipe
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What do you get when you combine tender beef brisket, pickled red onions and a garlic aioli? Fan favorite party appetizers there gobbled up in the blink of an eye! These gluten-free brisket sliders are one of my favorite recipes to whip up before game day or during summer. There are countless reasons I love these sliders but the number one reason would have to be how easy they are to make! The slow cooker does all of the work for you. All you have to do is shred the brisket once it's cooked and assemble your slider! It doesn't get much easier than that.
The Flavor Foundation
While the slow cooker allows deeper flavors to develop over a period of time, you still have to start with a foundation. We can't just place the brisket in the slow cooker with a few seasonings and expect to have a delicious result. When it comes to slow cooker recipes, I always like to make sure that I have a base. For example, the base in this recipe will be sautéed vegetables.
We'll be using a mirepoix as the foundation from which to build off flavor to create a rich taste. The mirepoix is a blend of diced vegetables, specifically carrots, onions, and celery. These three create an aromatic base; furthermore, mirepoix is used in French cooking as the starter to most soups. In this recipe, we will also be using garlic to enhance the flavors. Furthermore, we're going to quickly sauté the mirepoix and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker. Although the brisket will cook on low for ten hours, I prefer the vegetables to be slightly cooked so that they release more flavors.
Seasoning & Searing the Brisket
After the vegetables are sautéed and placed in the bottom of the slow cooker, it's time to prepare the beef brisket. First thing is first, the brisket must be at room temperature. Meats can pick up on aromas when they're in the refrigerator. Allowing them to come to room temperature ensures that they don't transfer these taste or smells to the final result. Furthermore, searing meat when cold produces an uneven cook and doesn't allow for a crust to form.
Once the meat has reached room temperatures, pat both sides dry with a paper towel. Then, use a sharp knife to trim any fat. Unlike other cuts like ribeyes, beef briskets are not overly fatty but can have fatty pieces. It's easier to trim these now, then try to remove them later during the shredding process. Next, season both sides with salt and pepper. Be sure to rub the seasonings into the meat.
Now it's time to sear the meat! Searing the brisket before cooking it locks in moisture to ensure a tender end result. Because this recipe calls for a three pound brisket, you may have to cut the brisket in half depending on the size of your largest pan. Place the brisket in a hot pan with olive oil and carefully sear each side until a brown crust forms. This should only be for a minute or less over medium heat. Finally, lay the seared brisket over the vegetables in the crockpot.
Final Step Before Cooking
You can't have moist, melt-in-your-mouth brisket without a sauce to lock in the moisture and enhance the flavor. The sauce is a combination of red wine, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish. Although the horseradish is minimal, it adds quite the bite. The ingredients don't even need to be cooked down first. You can simply whisk them together in a bowl and pair over the brisket. Before you close the lid, place four sprigs of fresh thyme and three bay leaves over the brisket. Last, set the crockpot to low and cook for 10 hours!
Shredding the Beef
After the allotted time, the beef brisket will be cooked to perfection. Before shredding the beef, make sure that you remove any of the fresh thyme or bay leaves. Shredding the beef is probably the most tedious aspect of this easy recipe. The best way to do so is to place the beef on a large cutting board. Take two forks, using one fork to hold the brisket down and the other to pull away from the brisket. As you do so, slowly the meat will begin to fall apart. Remember to discard of any fatty pieces you may have missed when trimming the beef.
Toppings & Assembling the Sliders
Once the beef is shredded, there's a few final steps before you can demolish these sliders. First, I like to blend the remaining vegetables and liquid from the crockpot. The two are full of flavor and make for a delicious sauce. After blending, you can add some to a bowl with the shredded brisket to impact more flavor and keep it moist. If you want to use a barbecue sauce instead, you can use a store-bought brand or find my recipe here.
For the slider buns, there are a few different gluten-free options available but I think Udi's hamburger buns are the best option. You can use hamburger buns here because gluten-free bread is naturally smaller than wheat bread. While they're not quite as small as sliders, I think the proportion is perfect. Furthermore, I suggest crisping up the bun and then spreading garlic aioli over each side. The garlic aioli beautifully compliments the flavor of the brisket. It has a rich, creamy, slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with the bold profile of the beef.
Finally, the toppings! When it comes to brisket slider toppings, the possibilities are endless. From Mac and Cheese to coleslaw, the choice is yours. Typically, a vinegar component like a pickled vegetable is utilized. In the pictures, you'll see that I opted for both pickled red onions and pickles. You can do both or neither, but I find a pickled vegetable adds a fresh, light element to a recipe that could otherwise be heavy. Plus, it adds a great textural component with the crunch!
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket SlidersCourse: Dinner, Lunch, Side, AppetizersDifficulty: Easy
Grab this slider recipe for your next summer get together!
- For the Brisket
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 three pound beef brisket
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups red wine
1 ½ cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon horseradish
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
- For Assembling the Sliders
Gluten-free hamburger buns
- For the Brisket
- Carefully dice the carrots, celery, and onion into small pieces. Then, mince the garlic.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan. Over medium heat, sauté the vegetables for five to seven minutes or until translucent and aromatic. Then, add to a slow cooker.
- Allow the brisket to come to room temperature, then pat dry with a paper towel. Use a sharp knife to trim off any pieces of fat from the brisket. Then, season both sides with pepper and salt.
- Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then sear each side of the brisket over medium heat for less than one minute or until a brown crust forms.
- Place the seared brisket on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
- Whisk together the wine, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish in a large bowl. Once combined, pour over the brisket in the crockpot.
- Place the thyme sprigs and bay leaves on top. Then, cover with the lid and cook on LOW heat for 10 hours.
- After 10 hours, remove the brisket and place on a cutting board. Use two forks to carefully shred the beef. Remove any pieces of fat that were missed when trimming the beef.
- OPTIONAL: Blend the vegetables and liquid from the slow cooker. Place the shredded brisket in a large bowl with roughly one cup of the blended sauce. Allow to marinate until ready to serve. You can also use barbecue sauce in lieu of this step.
- Toast the buns and spread aioli over each side. Then, add the brisket with sauce over the buns. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- Refrigerate the brisket an air tight container up to five days before discarding.