The nice thing about cooking a monster brisket for Hanukkah — aside, of course, from the fact that the meat can be mouth meltingly delicious — is that it is a dish you can mostly ignore as it cooks.
Season a massive hunk of brisket, toss it in a Dutch oven with some liquid, then pop it in a 275 F oven for the better part of a day. Done. And delicious.
And that's what I planned to do for this recipe. Until I realized that while that approach does leave the cook free to do other things, it also monopolizes the oven. And it does so at such a low temperature that it becomes difficult to share the space with other dishes you might want to prepare.
So instead, I turned to that most terrifying — and misunderstood — of kitchen tools, the pressure cooker. Modern pressure cookers are quite safe. Basically, they lock in moisture and — thanks to the pressure seal — are able to cook at a higher temperature. The result is fast, even cooking that won't dry out your food.
Which means my sweet-and-tangy barbecue brisket sliders cook in about 1 1/2 hours instead of all day. And the hands-on time is the same.
SWEET-AND-TANGY BARBECUE BRISKET SLIDERS
Start to finish: 1 hour 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
4-pound brisket, trimmed of fat, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 cups water
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder