Lou Lambert’s Coffee-Rubbed Roasted Brisket Recipe

I got to enjoy the cooking of Chef Lou Lambert of Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in Austin, Texas, on two nights during my recent visit to Austin for the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual meeting. The first night was a celebration for his new book Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook (thanks Lisa Ekus), and he was back again for the closing night cookout on Boggy Creek Farm, a tremendous organic urban farm in Austin.  Here’s Lou with his co-author June Naylor.


I love brisket.  I’m from Kansas City originally, so I grew up on it.  My mom made a fantastic brisket and I’m always trying (often unsuccessfully) to duplicate it.   But I must say I had some of the best brisket in my life in Austin. Lou Lambert knows how to do brisket.  Here’s the recipe for his famous coffee-rubbed brisket.

Lou Lambert’s Coffee-Rubbed Roasted Brisket

Lambert adapted the recipe for his famous smoked, coffee-rubbed brisket for the home kitchen by roasting the brisket rather than smoking it. You can see him make the recipe on the Secret Ingredient cooking show on the Whole Foods blog.

Coffee rubcover

2 cups light brown sugar 
1 cup chili powder 
1/4 cup paprika 
1/4 cup kosher salt 
1/2 cup medium ground black pepper 
1/4 cup finely ground dark roast coffee 

Roasting the brisket
1 beef brisket, 4 to 6 pounds 
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces 
2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges 
1 1/2 bottles (18 ounces) dark beer


For the rub, combine brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and coffee in a medium bowl. Stir to combine well. 

Preheat oven to 275°F. Rub the brisket all over with coffee rub and set aside for 30 minutes. Store leftover coffee rub in an airtight container at room temperature. Arrange carrots and onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Set brisket on top of vegetables. Pour beer over brisket and roast, 3 to 5 hours, until brisket is tender and falling apart. Allow about 45 minutes per pound of brisket. When the brisket is done, you should be able to separate the meat into shreds easily with a fork. Remove meat from roasting pan and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. 

Pour the pan juices and vegetables into a saucepan. Skim the fat off the top of the juices and discard. Slice meat across the grain and arrange on a platter. Serve juices and vegetables with meat. Yield:  10-14 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving

Per serving brisket (About 9oz/247g-wt.): 420 calories (90 from fat), 11g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 58g protein, 16g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 100mg cholesterol, 610mg sodium Per serving coffee rub (1 Tbsp/11g-wt.): 40 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g protein, 9g total carbohydrate (less than 1g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium.

Lou also made this corn pudding at the cookout.  I sure hope this recipe is in his new cookbook (which will be published in the fall). This was quite amazing too!


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