Cooking from the Bar Cart: Coffee Stout Braised Brisket

Where there’s beer, there’s braising liquid, the secret to this melt-in-your-mouth, oven-cooked delight

A blue cooking pan with veggies and brisket


Long, slow cooking is critical for making tough cuts tender, but you don’t need smoke or fire for this crowd-pleasing brisket. A zesty rub, beer-spiked braising liquid, low oven, and some patience are all it takes to develop the flavorful bark and velvety fork-tenderness. A robust, full-bodied stout or porter with rich chocolate or coffee notes complements the rich beefiness of the brisket. I used Judge Roy Bean Coffee Stout from Alabama’s Fairhope Brewing Company, but Good People’s Coffee Oatmeal Stout or Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout are other good bets. As a rule of thumb, cook with something you’d actually enjoy drinking.

Stay in Touch with G&G
Get The Skillet, our weekly food and drink newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Like all braised meats, this dish is best cooked at least a day or two before you plan to serve it to allow the flavors to really meld. After the brisket and braising liquid rest in the fridge, be sure to reheat the skimmed liquid to use as a mouthwatering mop for the warmed brisket at serving time. This make-ahead recipe is ideal for weekends at the lake, beach, or in the mountains, or when you have a crowd to feed at home any time of year. Let the brisket star in breakfast tacos, pile it high on buns for sandwiches, or serve it alongside steamed or roasted seasonal vegetables, drizzled with more of the tasty braising liquid, to make it a meal.

See other recipes in our Cooking from the Bar Cart series.


  • Coffee Stout Brisket (Yield: 10 to 12 servings)

  • For the brisket rub

    • 2 tbsp. kosher salt

    • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

    • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

    • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

    • 1 tbsp. onion powder

    • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

    • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder

    • 1 tsp. dry mustard

  • For the brisket

    • 5 to 6 lb. brisket flat

    • ⅓ cup brisket rub

    • 2 tbsp. canola oil

    • 2 cups beef stock, divided

    • 1 large sweet onion, thickly sliced

    • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

    • 12 oz. coffee stout beer

    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste

    • 1 to 2 dried mulato chiles or ½ tsp. red chile flakes

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the brisket rub: Mix all ingredients in a jar to combine. Makes about ¾ cup.*

  2. Make the brisket: Generously season the brisket on all sides with the rub and place fat-side up on a large plate. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Bring the brisket to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

  3. Preheat the oven to 275°F and turn on the vent hood. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add the oil to the pan. Sear the brisket, fat-side down, 5 minutes. Carefully turn over and sear 4 minutes on the second side. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and remove the brisket to a plate. Return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Add 1 cup beef stock and deglaze, scraping up the browned bits, until liquid is syrupy. Layer the sliced onion and smashed garlic cloves on the bottom of the pot. Place the brisket, fat-side up, on top of the onions and garlic. Pour the remaining beef stock, stout beer, and balsamic vinegar around the brisket without displacing spices on top. Drop in the dried chiles or sprinkle the chile flakes around the meat. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Transfer the pot to the preheated oven. Cook 3½ to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender, spooning the braising liquid gently over the meat halfway through cooking.

  4. When the meat is cooked tender, remove it from the pot and cool to room temperature. Wrap with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract all the flavorful juices; discard solids. Let the braising liquid cool to room temperature and then transfer to the refrigerator. Once it’s chilled, remove the fat that has solidified on the surface and discard.

  5. To serve, bring the wrapped brisket to room temperature on a sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the wrapped brisket in the oven to warm through for 30 to 40 minutes. Reheat the skimmed braising liquid over low heat, taste, and adjust seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and more balsamic to taste. Serve the heated brisket sliced across the grain with the warm braising liquid. 

  6. *Note: This makes enough rub for a whole beef brisket but keeps well. Use leftover rub on steaks or in chili.

Katherine Cobbs is a cookbook author and editor. Her most recent books are Pantry Cocktails (2021) and Tequila & Tacos (2020) published by Simon & Schuster. She also developed recipes for Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook – Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories.



Garden & Gun has an affiliate partnership with and may receive a portion of sales when a reader clicks to buy a book.