M. J. Dalton Butchers
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal.
The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts, though the precise definition of the cut differs internationally.
The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle.
This requires a significant amount of connective tissues, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.
Brisket can be cooked many ways. Basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process.
This normally tough cut of meat, due to the collagen fibres that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, is tenderized when the collagen gelatinises, resulting in more tender brisket.
The fat cap often left attached to the brisket helps to keep the meat from drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat. Water is necessary for the conversion of collagen to gelatin.