There’s no better way to put your brisket leftovers to excellent use than with Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwiches!
This recipe is ideal for those of you who ended up with an extra pound or two of sliced brisket from the smokehouse, but it’s especially handy for those who enjoy smoking brisket at home!
These chopped beef sandwiches will stretch that leftover beef, enabling you to feed the whole fam with something new and totally crave-worthy! In this recipe, savory chopped brisket takes a turn in sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and gets piled high between two hamburger buns. It’s a whole new dinner in just 10 minutes’ time!
WHAT ARE CHOPPED BEEF SANDWICHES?
Chopped beef sandwiches are a Texas food staple, and you’ll find them sold at every single BBQ joint in the Lonestar state, at fairs, rodeos, and even the high school cafeterias and concession stands.
The beefy filling is made up of Texas Smoked Brisket that has been roughly chopped and tossed in a bit of BBQ sauce. The filling is sandwiched in between a hamburger bun, and you top it just like you’d top your BBQ. Sliced onions, pickles, and/or pickled jalapenos are welcomed!
It was my first assumption that these sandwiches originated out of a need for BBQ joints to rid of their leftover brisket. Tossing the chopped brisket in a bit of BBQ sauce brings it right back to life and no one would ever know if it had lost any of its juiciness overnight, right? Well, the answer is yes, Chopped Beef Sandwiches absolutely serve that purpose for BBQ joints today, but also…no.
THE HISTORY OF CHOPPED BEEF
According to a Texas Monthly interview with the owner, Billy McDonald of Mac’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas, that’s how BBQ was served in restaurants at the start of the Texas brisket craze — chopped. The beef brisket was chopped, sauced, topped with relish and onion, and served with white bread on the side. It wasn’t until more recent decades, says McDonald, that restaurants began slicing the brisket.
Although, I’ll interject here to say my native Houstonian mother (now in her 70s) claims sliced beef brisket has been on the menu as far back as she can remember.
The article goes on to say that there are actually some Texas BBQ establishments that only serve chopped bbq beef brisket to this day, where eating your brisket sandwich-style is the only option.
HOW TO MAKE CHOPPED BEEF SANDWICHES
In truth, not much of a recipe is required to make Chopped Beef Sandwiches at home, although you will need to have leftover brisket on hand.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 to 1 1/2 pound of leftover smoked beef brisket
- 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce
- Hamburger buns
CHOP THE BRISKET
The first thing you’ll do is chop the beef. It’s best if you warm the beef before chopping it so you can melt down some of that fat. This way you’re less likely to “over-chop” it.
When chopping beef for your Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwiches, avoid enlisting the help of technology from a food processor or stand mixer. It’s really best to use a knife. This is because you don’t want the beef to be finely minced in consistency, you want it to be….well, chopped.
You should still be able to see hunks of beef in the mix once you’ve got it all chopped up, although they should be bite-sized bits.
Once you have your beef chopped, it’s on to the sauce.
TOSS IN BBQ SAUCE
As far as the sauce goes, you can make your own homemade BBQ sauce or you can use a store-bought sauce. Anything slightly sweet with a little spice will do nicely.
Add your beef to a mixing bowl with a 1/4 cup of the sauce and mix until the beef is coated. Then, you can officially assemble your sandwich.
ASSEMBLE YOUR SANDWICH
For the bread, hamburger buns are standard but if you’ve got an old, Texas soul, thick-slices of white bread will work just fine. Ready the onions, pickles, and maybe some pickled jalapenos for a little extra heat, and dig right in!
6 MORE TEXAS RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas | Down here in the Lonestar state, there’s only one authentically Texan way to serve your cheese enchiladas — smothered in a beefy, Tex-Mex gravy and loaded with cheese!
- Texas Toast | Thick-sliced bread is slathered with a buttery, garlic spread and baked to toasty perfection!
- Texas Kolaches | Soft and fluffy yeast bread encloses your favorite breakfast meats in this Texas Kolache recipe.
- Texas Trash | Like your Chex mix with a little spice? Then this is the snack mix for you.
- Texas Sheet Cake Cookies | Texas’ favorite cake in handheld form? Yes, Please! Texas sheet cake cookies feature a cake-y chocolate cookie enveloped in rich and fudgy icing!
- Texas Chili | A hearty, spicy chili served Texas-style. No beans, of course!
Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwiches are an excellent way to put your leftover brisket to work! In this recipe, savory chopped beef takes a quick turn BBQ sauce and gets piled high between two hamburger buns!
- 1 to 1 1/2 pound leftover smoked brisket
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 4 hamburger buns
- Toppings: sliced onion, pickles, pickled jalapenos
Microwave the leftover brisket in a microwave-safe bowl or container, covered by a damp paper towel until warmed to your liking.
Transfer the brisket to a work surface and chop into small bits and pieces. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of chopped brisket. Add it to a small mixing bowl, along with the BBQ sauce and stir to coat.
Serve on a hamburger bun and top with desired toppings.