Smoky, Oven-barbecued Brisket
4 tablespoons mild smoked paprika
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
One whole brisket (8-10 pounds)
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
In a small bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, pepper, salt, brown sugar, chili powder and cumin.
Using your hands, rub the brisket with the spice blend, making sure to cover all surfaces. Wrap the brisket tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
One hour before cooking remove the brisket from the refrigerator and allow it sit at room temperature, leaving the plastic wrap on.
Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Unwrap the brisket and place it, fat-side up, in a roasting pan just big enough to hold it. Add the beer to the pan and cover tightly with foil (there should be about half-inch of liquid in the pan, add water if necessary).
Bake for 6-10 hours, basting every 2 hours, or until the internal temperature registers 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, and the meat is fork tender. Trim the fat and slice across the grain to serve.
Cook's note: This brisket can be sliced and served in the traditional way piled on slices of soft white bread -- or on its own with or without barbecue sauce. Either way, coleslaw is an indispensable side dish. If you make the brisket a day ahead, wrap it tightly in a couple layers of foil before refrigerating, then reheat the brisket in a 250-degree oven for about an hour, or until it reaches a temperature to your liking.
Serves eight to 10.