A good meal makes for great leftovers. Sure, a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner is delicious, but what I really look forward to is a late-night, second piece of pecan pie and/or a breakfast sandwich layered with buttermilk biscuits, sliced roast turkey, cornbread stuffing, shredded Brussels sprouts, and cranberry sauce. If I manage to not completely inhale penne alla vodka for dinner from the hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant near my apartment, I will count down the hours until it is socially acceptable to reheat and inhale the leftovers. That’s because leftovers are delicious, and leftover beef brisket is no exception.
The tricky thing with leftover meat — whether it’s brisket or beef tenderloin or roast chicken — is that it’s always at risk of drying out when reheated. Not to be dramatic, but there’s nothing worse than spending half a day looking forward to leftovers only to burn or overcook them. We’ll walk you through the best way to reheat brisket so it stays juicy, but we’ll also share some of our go-to leftover brisket recipes. As a note, not all of these ideas for repurposing leftover brisket are kosher, but they are all delicious. Feel free to make tweaks according to any dietary restrictions that you may follow.
How to reheat brisket
We turned to our community members to get perspective on the best way to reheat brisket. First and foremost, most of you agreed that the best way to tackle leftover brisket is by slicing only what you want to eat, rather than trying to reheat the entire cut of meat. Makes sense! Community members Monita and Tarragon both said that from there, the best way to heat the slices of brisket is by placing them in a pan or skillet, covered, with some of the accumulated juices and then sticking the whole thing in a 250°F to 300°F oven for 30 minutes. Just skim the fat from the juices before serving to avoid extra-greasy leftover brisket.
First and foremost, we have to talk about a brisket sandwich. Follow the above instructions for reheating and then layer it on leftover dinner rolls, your favorite sandwich bread, or a burger bun (though we’d recommend something hearty that can hold its own against the juicy meat). Eat it as is, or add some barbecue sauce, coleslaw, and pickles.
Why aren’t brisket nachos more popular? The combination of crunchy corn tortillas with the smoky flavors of brisket (plus maybe some beans, cheese, salsa, avocado, and sour cream) is guaranteed to be my new favorite snack, and yours, too.
Shred the brisket as if it’s pulled pork and layer it over a white pizza with a trio of cheeses (say mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan). If you have any jus from the leftover meat, drizzle that on top of the pie too for a brisket pizza. Barbecue sauce would also be delicious . . . I’m going to cut myself short here because I need to make this ASAP.
Use the same pan for the quesadillas that you used to heat up the leftover brisket. Not only does this mean fewer dishes (a win for early-morning meals), but the flour tortilla will absorb some of the smoky brisket flavors, making for an even more delicious stuffed quesadilla. If there is an excess of juices, scoop some out so the tortilla doesn’t get soggy. Like any quesadilla, it will only get better when you add a lot of cheese and maybe some leftover vegetable sides, too. I triple-dog-dare you to only eat one.
The morning after seder, prepare breakfast brisket tacos with the leftover meat, sautéed onions, scrambled eggs, and cheese. Create the easiest-ever DIY taco bar if you’re hosting guests; less work for you and more fun for them!