You Need These Brisket Sliders for the Fourth of July and Beyond

Houston chef Dawn Burrell shares her recipe and pro tips for getting it right

June 27, 2023 6:02 am
beef brisket sliders
POV: You're getting ready to take a bite of the best brisket slider you've ever had.
Jessica Ortiz

Burgers on the grill will always be a classic summer staple. But if you want to step it up this year for Fourth of July parties, backyard gatherings or other tried-and-true reasons to eat, these brisket sliders from Houston chef Dawn Burrell make a compelling case for their place on the dinner table.

Burrell is a Top Chef finalist, a James Beard semifinalist and a former Olympian who competed in the long jump. (That last bit’s not so relevant to brisket sliders, but it seems worth mentioning nonetheless.) She is working on her new restaurant, Late August, which will open its doors later this year. She also created the menu for 713 Music Hall, a historic space that began life as a train station depot in the 1930s and was transformed into a post office in the ‘50s. Today it hosts concerts and is also home to Kashmere Lounge, a hidden VIP bar and restaurant with craft cocktails and many delicious things to eat. That lounge is where you’ll find these sliders, plus other dishes like grilled esquites with lime-miso cream and a Chinese black bean-glazed pork rib sandwich.

The sliders start with slow-cooked brisket, and they’re topped with white barbecue sauce and fried onions. The handheld dish is convenient for concertgoers but also works great for summer parties and whenever you need to feed a crowd.

​​”Cooking brisket in the oven is a friendly and easier process than cooking in a smoker,” Burrell tells InsideHook. “Of course, you won’t achieve the beautiful smoke ring or the smoky flavor, but you can impart other flavors like chipotle or create delicious spice blends.”

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The sandwich’s mayo- and horseradish-spiked white sauce is a departure from the sweet, spicy and smoky barbecue sauces that typically accompany Texas barbecue, but Burrell wanted to mix things up. “The element of a white sauce was a fun choice for me because I love a good mayo-based sauce,” she says. “It was just a way for me to offer a pleasant twist to something as classic as a brisket sandwich.”

As for what to drink, it’s hard to imagine an ice-cold beer going wrong. But Burrell likes to pair the sliders with the Cherry Bourbon Smash cocktail at 713 Music Hall. “The tart taste of lemons paired with the sweetness of cherry cuts through the smoky bourbon and brisket,” she says.

Below, Burrell shares how to recreate her brisket sliders at home, from making the perfect spice rub to frying those onions to a crisp golden brown.

Brisket Sliders Recipe

Servings: 25

  • 2 whole briskets
  • 12 dry chipotle peppers
  • 1 cup paprika
  • 1 cup garlic powder
  • 1 cup onion powder
  • 1 cup salt
  • ¾ cup garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup pepper
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coriander
  • 4 cups heavy mayonnaise 
  • ½ cup horseradish 
  • ¼ cup garlic, minced 
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  • 5 yellow onions
  • 2 quarts chicken fry flour, prepared
  • Brioche buns
  • Half-sour pickles
  • Butter, softened
    1. Grind chipotle peppers in the blender. Combine the remaining paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and whisk to combine. Divide the mix into the portion you are using to season the brisket.

    2. Season brisket liberally with the rub. Place brisket in a pan with a rack and oven-sear brisket in a 400-degree oven for 45 minutes. 

    3. Reduce oven temp to 200 degrees. Add water, ½ cup cane vinegar, 2 cut onions, 2 jalapeno peppers, 4 chipotle peppers, 2 cans of chipotle in adobo sauce, ½ cup brown sugar, and 12 chili pods to the pan. Cover with plastic and foil. Roast overnight in the oven for 12 hours or until tender and jiggly. 

    4. Cool the brisket overnight in the fridge under something heavy to flatten the brisket for portioning. 

    5. To serve, cut brisket in half lengthwise and then cut into 2-inch planks. Slice each plank into ½-inch thick pieces. Reserve cooking liquid.

    6. To make the barbecue sauce, combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, light brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the mayo mixture to a blender along with the horseradish and garlic. Blend together until smooth. Add this blended mixture back into the remaining combined ingredients. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.

    7. To make the onions, slice onions thinly. Soak in ice water for 15 minutes. In small batches, remove onions from the ice water and add to the fry flour, and coat them well. Shake off excess flour, then fry in a 350 degree fryer until golden and crispy. Drain off excess oil and cool. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

    8. To make the sandwiches, preheat a medium saute pan. Cut buns in half and coat the cut sides with softened butter. Brown buns on both sides slightly,. then remove from the pan.  Add the sliced brisket to the pan and sear on both sides until heated through. Deglaze the pan with the brisket cooking liquid and allow it to reduce. Meanwhile, coat both sides of the bun with white barbecue sauce. Place brisket, pickles and crispy onions on the buns, and top with the reduced cooking liquid.


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