I was sort of on the fence about whether to post this up or not, since I consider it more of an idea as opposed to a recipe.
In addition to a backyard BBQ’er, I’m also a pretty good baker. When I hear the word “recipe,” I think of an ingredient list with specific amounts listed for each one, followed by instructions as to what order to add each item.
These BBQ brisket rolls, like many of the posts I’m probably going to make in this section (aside from rubs and sauces) don’t read quite like that. Nonetheless, I’m calling it a recipe since it doesn’t fit anywhere else.
These were inspired by an appetizer from one of my favorite local barbecue restaurants here in Phoenix. It’s not exactly the same thing, but that’s where the idea came from. Well that, and having a ton of extra brisket on my hands.
I had made a pretty good-sized brisket the day before I decided to make these, and let’s just say it wasn’t one of my better cooks. For the most part, the brisket was fine, but there was a much larger than normal amount on the ends and sides that was basically inedible. It was so dried out that I could barely get through it with a knife.
I carved off all of the dried out sections and chopped it all up. I had intended to put all of it in zip-top bags and put it in the freezer to use the next time I made beans (another great use for otherwise inedible bits), but this was a substantial amount. I tried to think of some other uses for all of it, and that’s when my mind went to those appetizers. I put all of it into the fridge instead of the freezer and spent some time thinking about how I wanted to do these.
I don’t think I could exactly replicate those lovely appetizers. I don’t know what they use to roll their brisket in – it’s almost a cross between a tortilla and a puff pastry – really tough to figure out.
That’s when it hit me: egg roll wrappers! Everything’s better when
stuffed into an egg roll wrapper and deep fried, right? I ran out to the store and picked some up the next day, and proceeded to make my version of the brisket rolls I enjoy so much.
First things first, though.
When I said this brisket was dried out, I wasn’t kidding. Before I did anything, I needed to try and hydrate the brisket as much as I could. This was also a good opportunity to add some flavor, so I sautéed some onions in a copious amount butter in a large pan.
Once the onions were done to my liking, I added the chopped brisket along with more butter and a little bit of water. I covered it with the lid and let everything cook on low heat for about 30 minutes:
Once all of the liquid was soaked up, I tossed all of it with some barbecue sauce. Not a lot of sauce – just enough to sort of bind things together and add another layer of flavor. I put everything in a bowl to cool for a bit as I readied a work space to do my egg-rolling:
I used to be afraid of making any kind of egg roll, because rolling up an egg roll that won’t leak or explode always seemed like some sort of complicated origami, but it’s actually really easy. The keys are to make sure the edges of the wrapper are moistened and that you do not overfill the wrappers. Then you’re good to go.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Egg roll wrappers
Small bowl of water
Fryer or pot set up for frying, with oil heated to 350
1.) Put some water into a small bowl. You won’t need a lot, just enough to wet your fingertips and run them around the edges of the wrapper.
2.) Lay out the egg roll wrapper so it looks like a diamond, with one point aimed at you, and add about 2 tablespoons of your filling on the half of the wrapper closest to you. Don’t put filling beyond the halfway point of the wrapper:
I don’t have any pictures of the next couple of steps. Although this is easier than I used to think it was, it’s just not possible to do it and take pictures at the same time, at least for me.
3.) Once you have your filling on the wrapper as in the picture above, dip a couple of your fingers into your bowl of water. Then run your wet fingers around the edges of the egg roll wrapper. You’ll have to dip your fingers a couple of times. You don’t want to soak the wrapper, but put enough on there so you can see that it’s wet.
4.) Grab the point of the wrapper closest to you, fold it up over the filling, and press it down gently.
5.) Grab the points from either side and fold them in towards the middle.
6.) Roll forward until you’ve reached the point on the far side.
7.) Check around the edges to make sure everything is sealed up. If you see gaps anywhere, wet your fingers and press down on those areas and ensure they’re sealed.
8.) Continue this until you run out of filling or wrappers, or until your fingers hurt.
9.) Place egg rolls into the oil 2-3 at a time and fry for about 3 minutes, or until you have something that looks like this:
*Please note – This should go without saying, but let them cool for a bit before
taste-testing. I know they look great and smell great, but hold on for just a few minutes. Those crispy, delicious treats just came out of 350 degree oil. Contact with them is not pleasant for your fingers or your mouth.
I have several friends who are supposedly adults but act like 5-year-olds. They grab things and put them in their mouths right out of the oven, microwave, fryer, grill, etc. and burn themselves. Then they look around with a look of confusion and shock on their faces, unsure of how that happened. Worse than damn children.
Don’t be a five-year-old.
Let them cool.
If you’re one of my friends and you feel like that was aimed at you – you’re right.
If you need to keep yourself occupied while the egg rolls are cooling, make up some dipping sauce. Your favorite barbecue sauce will work just fine. Ranch dressing works well too (everything is better with Ranch, in case you didn’t know).
I took some Ranch dressing and mixed in some of my spicy barbecue rub. It was awesome:
You can tell I was proud of these as I went all food stylist for the photos:
That’s it. Not too bad, huh?
Again, this isn’t really a recipe…just an idea. I wish I had thought more about other ingredients at the time. Some cabbage would have been a nice addition, and maybe even some cheese. You can do pretty much whatever you want with these. It’s a great way to use up leftover barbecue. Experiment and see what you come up with.
They make an great appetizer, and are an excellent finger food to bring to a party. Enjoy!