Low and slow is the recipe for success with this cut of meat. Smith’s Bar and Grill have pretty much nailed it

BBQ-ing brisket is a kind of religion in the US of A, especially in Texas. It’s a slow process, ten to twelve hours in a hot smoker, if it weighs around five kilos. Anything smaller will dry out.

It’s a labour of love and skill. I tried it once in my Weber Smokey Mountain and well after darkness had fallen the meat still wasn’t cooked and a small rebellion was going in our garden with guests demanding I go out and buy sausages as they were so hungry.

Available only on Mondays at Smith’s Bar and Grill restaurant in Paddington, this Beef Brisket Platter is slow-cooked for 13 hours and served with mac-n-cheese, pickles, corn and sweet potato fries.

I had to try it, to learn something about its cooking if nothing else, and on a hot day sitting by the Grand Union Canal seemed like a very good idea.

An idea that appeared to have occurred to a lot of people, as the terrace was full and the platters were flying out from Head Chef David Reyes’ kitchen at lunchtime.

It’s not terribly easy to find the canal when you leave Paddington Statio  if you’ve not done so before, or it’s been a while. So much has changed in a relatively short time. I went in a large frustrating circuit of the station and found myself pretty much back where I started, before a kind local put me straight.

It’s a lovely location with some houseboats bobbing on the water, some other boats converted into bars and restaurants, and well-heeled locals languorously drifting along what was once the towpath.

So the platter. £40 to share, which isn’t bad at all, and served on a wooden board as these things so often are

The corn has been sliced into quarters lengthwise, which is not a bad idea. It’s a lot easier to eat this way, less butter down the shirt. The mac n cheese is gooey in a good way, and who can resist a pickled gherkin? Not me.

The sweet potato fries I am not sure about, I like the taste, but they’re as limp as a politician’s handshake. I’d have preferred standard fries, but I know that Americsns do like sweet things with their meat.

Well what about that meat? I’m coming to that. I like to see a good ‘burned’ coat on slow cooked ribs and brisket but this didn’t have it. It’s called ‘bark’ and it comes from chemical reactions, as well the Maillard reaction and polymerization with the rub ingredients.

However there was ‘pinkness’ in the outer edges, clear evidence of smoke getting in, and it did taste very good. The meat was ‘cut with a spoon’ tender and with enough fat remaining to keep it all moist. We were actually rather impressed and tussled over the last slices, although there were plenty for two.

At £40 for two it’s a bit of a bargain and you can get a bottle of red or a white wine selected by Head Sommelier, Maurizio Titone, at 50% off every Monday. An opportunity to discover new fine wines at a fraction of the price.