Pulled Brisket with Cherries, Star Anise and Hoisin Sauce

, from Issue #92. August, 2020
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Pulled Brisket with Cherries, Star Anise and Hoisin Sauce

This was a huge hit on shoot day. The brisket is delicious stuffed into warm bao buns or crusty rolls with coleslaw.

Serves: 4-6


1 red onion, roughly chopped
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup each sriracha chilli sauce and rice vinegar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons each tomato paste and runny honey
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 cup cherries, drained, pitted (see Cook’s note)
1 teaspoon sea salt

To cook
2 red onions, thickly sliced
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup ginger beer
1-kilogram piece beef brisket; (or 2 x 500-gram pieces) I used Silver Fern Farms
sea salt and ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Sauce: Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

To cook: Place the onions, star anise, cinnamon stick and ginger beer in an ovenproof casserole dish. Season the brisket with salt and pepper and place on top. Pour over the sauce. Cover tightly with a lid or tinfoil and cook for 3 hours, or until meltingly tender. Transfer the brisket to a plate and cover to keep warm.

If the cooking liquid is quite thin, tip into a medium saucepan and boil over a high heat until reduced and syrupy, stirring often so it doesn’t catch on the base.

Pull the brisket apart with two forks and serve with the sauce.

Cook’s note: Cherries are available in the tinned fruit section of supermarkets.