For the spice rub:
- 3 tablespoons smoked sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper or cayenne pepper (half a palmful)
For the brisket:
- 1 brisket (8 pounds), trimmed to 1/8-inch layer of fat on top
- Black pepper
- 1 red onion, grated
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
- 1/2 cup lager-style beer, at room temperature
For the smoky BBQ sauce:
- 1 cup good-quality ketchup, such as Heinz Organic
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Coarse black pepper
For the sweet 'n spicy pickles:
- 2 cups white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small red chili pepper, such as Fresno, sliced
- 4 kirby cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- A few sprigs fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed (about a palmful)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed (about a palmful)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 32 slider-size (2 1/2 inches) biscuits, split
Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
Generously coat the brisket with lots of black pepper on all sides, then coat in the spice rub, massaging the spices into the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the fridge.
Pre-heat a smoker to around 250°F and set up for cooking over indirect heat by placing coals and wood chips to one side. Place the brisket on the other side and cook, fat-side up, for 4 hours.
Pull the meat off and slather with the grated onion. Using a double layer of foil, create a pouch/packet for the brisket. Add the apple juice and beer and tightly seal the foil.
Place the brisket back in the smoker for another 2 hours, adding a handful of chips and 12 or so coals. After 2 hours, open the lid and let the brisket sit in the packet for another hour.
While the brisket finishes cooking, make the Smoky BBQ Sauce and Sweet 'n Spicy Pickles.
To make the Smoky BBQ Sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepot and bring to a simmer. Cook at a low bubble for 15-20 minutes. Note: This recipe makes about 1.5 cups sauce.
To make the Sweet 'n Spicy Pickles, bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the garlic, bay, chili pepper, cucumber, onion and dill in a small storage container and sprinkle in a little mustard seed, coriander seed and black peppercorn. Pour the hot brine over the pickles. Cool, cover and chill, shaking every once in a while, overnight. Note: This recipe makes about 80-100 pickles.
To serve, thinly slice the brisket on a large cutting board. Add some barbecue sauce to the meat and give everything a rough chop to combine. Assemble the sammies by placing a pile of brisket on the biscuit bottoms. Add a couple slices of pickles and replace the tops.