A fantastic use for any leftover smoked brisket — Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!
(*UPDATE* — You can view us cooking up this combo of Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Smoked Tomato Bisque over on AM Northwest.)
We get a lot of folk on social media who tease us whenever we publish a recipe for “leftover smoked brisket”.
“If you got leftover brisket it means it ain’t good brisket,” they like to joke. Haha (she said with her most unenthused voice).
The reality is when you’re passionate about something, and cook it a lot in order to perfect your craft, you’re gonna end up with leftovers.
And in our case, we own a BBQ catering company, and test and serve recipes for a living. So, while we test, we end up with leftovers. When we cater an event, or do a pop up, we sometimes have leftovers. And leftovers are among my favorite ingredients to work with.
Here at Casa Vindulge we’re can easily go from cooking a 6-8 lb brisket at home, but in the competitive barbecue world or at catering events, produce briskets of a larger scale (15 lbs+). That means lots of practice. Practice also means trial, error, and… sometimes leftover brisket. You can find our go-to recipe for Smoked Brisket here.
Two weeks ago we smoked two 15 lb briskets (that’s 30 lbs of meat!!), and after giving nearly all our neighbors some brisket love, we still had leftovers. After making this crazy delicious Smoked Tomato Bisque the other day we discovered something was missing. What could be missing from a downright delicious tomato soup? A grilled cheese of course.
But this wasn’t just any grilled cheese. This was a smoked beef brisket grilled cheese made with leftover tender brisket, smoked cheddar and gruyere (or Comté) cheeses, melted to ooey gooey perfection.
Best Cheese for Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
We’ve discovered the best combination for this is a mix of shredded cheddar and shredded Comté (or gruyere). Comté and gruyere melt incredibly well, and are both fairly mild cheeses (so they won’t take away from the main attraction). Cheddar has great flavor and also melts well. The combo if the two is out of this world.
You can use thick slices of cheese or shred the cheese. While it’s a little messier, I find the shredded cheese melts better and more evenly.
How to make a Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Start by warming up your leftover brisket. I like to do this in a pan on the stovetop, slowly. The juices from any fat will re-hydrate your meat if it’s been sitting in the fridge. If you’re dealing with dried out brisket and need to add a bit of moisture, I recommend adding about a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce. But don’t go too heavy on the BBQ sauce. We’re just trying to add a little hydration, not overpower the meat with sauce.
Once your meat is warmed, transfer the meat to a plate, wipe out the pan, and get it nice and hot for cooking your sandwiches.
Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. Add a layer of Dijon mustard to the inside of the bread (the un-buttered side). This is going to add flavor and acidity to contrast the richness of the meat. Next, layer with cheddar, load on the shredded brisket (be generous), and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté).
Place the other slice of bread on top (butter side facing out).
Place sandwiches on the hot skillet (covered with a lid) and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore.
Cut in half. Feel free to enjoy with this Smoked Tomato Bisque for the ultimate soup and sandwich combination.
You have to try this sandwich! There are perfect pairings in this world — peanut butter and jelly, apple pie and ice cream, burgers and fries, and grilled cheese and tomato soup. This here is grilled cheese and tomato soup on steroids!
Recipe for Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- ½ cup leftover smoked beef brisket, shredded or sliced
- 2 slices of bread, cut ½ inch thick (sourdough or como loaf work well)
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons smoked cheddar, shredded
- 2 tablespoons Gruyere or Comté cheese, shredded
- Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium heat (or warm up an electric panini press).
- Add the brisket to the skillet to warm up. Slowly warm up your brisket for 3-5 minutes. Once it's warm, remove and set aside. Place pan back on the burner and warm up to medium heat.
- Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. On the inside layer of the bread layer the Dijon mustard to both sides.
- Next layer with a slice of the cheddar, load on the shredded brisket, and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté). Place the other slice of bread on top (butter side facing out).
- Place sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes (covered), until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side (covered) until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore. Remove.
- Cut in half and serve alongside this Smoked Tomato Bisque
Wine & Beer Pairing for Brisket Grilled Cheese
Well, since we followed this up to our recipe for Smoked Tomato Bisque, we paired it with the leftover Barbera. I was a bit surprised, and entirely delighted, how well the fruity and acidic wine went with the buttery, crusty, cheesy sandwich loaded with the tender brisket. Sans soup I think the sandwich would be fantastic with an oaked Chardonnay (bring on the buttery oaked wines. more butter da better), but I don’t recommend Chardonnay for the soup. Stick with a fruity acidic red wine if you make it with the soup (and I really hope you do).
Otherwise a nice Pilsner will do the trick! Light and refreshing and perfect way to cut through the richness of these sandwiches (and trust me, these sandwiches are rich!).
Want more leftover brisket recipes?
But first, here’s our Recipe for Smoked Brisket
- Smoked Brisket Nachos (my personal favorite)
- Smoked Brisket Chili (readers favorite)
- Smoked Brisket Bruschetta
- Smoked Brisket Pizza
- Smoked Brisket Enchiladas
- Smoked Brisket Tacos
- Smoked Brisket Empanadas
If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.
* This post was originally published in October 2014, and updated in December of 2018 with new photos and tips.