Slow Cooker Hawaiian Brisket Sliders
About the Recipe
Pillowy-soft Hawaiian rolls piled high with slices of tender beef brisket and sweet pineapple, all topped with a crunchy cabbage slaw. These tasty little sandwiches are great for your Labor Day celebration. All it takes is a piece of brisket, some pantry staples for a homemade pineapple teriyaki sauce, and a long stint in a slow cooker.
FOR THE BRISKET:
3 1/2 pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices or rings
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SANDWICHES:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 to 14 ounces cabbage slaw mix*
18 to 20 Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls
*As an option, use the Spicy Pineapple Slaw Recipe on the Stoysich Labor Day Recipe Page
Make the brisket: Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and season generously all over with salt. Cut the brisket in half if needed to fit in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker or to fit in a large frying pan for searing. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the brisket fat-side down (work in 2 batches if needed) and sear until golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and sear the second side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to the slow cooker and arrange into a single layer as best as you can; the brisket can fit snugly.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Meanwhile, drain the pineapple slices from the juice but reserve the juice. Cut the pineapple slices in half, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate. Set the reserved juice aside.
Place the pan back on the stove over an unheated burner. Add the soy sauce, 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice (refrigerate the remaining juice for the slaw dressing), brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Whisk until the cornstarch is fully dissolved, then pour over the brisket and onions.
Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the brisket is fork-tender, 6 to 8 hours. When the brisket is ready, turn the slow cooker off, uncover, and let sit 30 minutes for the meat to rest. At this point, you can proceed with making the sandwiches or, for best results, let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate in the slow cooker overnight.
If making the sandwiches immediately: Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Spoon off as much fat from the surface of the sauce as you can. Trim any fat from the top of the brisket if desired. Slice the brisket across the grain and return the slices to the sauce.
If refrigerated overnight: Spoon off the white hardened layer of fat from the surface. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and trim any fat from the top of the brisket if desired. Slice the brisket across the grain and return the slices to the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the slices to completely coat. Reheat until warmed through and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 1 hour uncovered in a 300°F oven, or 1 1/2 hours covered on the LOW setting in the slow cooker.
Assemble the sandwiches: Whisk the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice, sesame oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add the slaw and toss to combine. Serve the brisket slices on split Hawaiian rolls (about 2 ounces of brisket per sandwich), each topped with a piece of reserved pineapple and some slaw.
Make ahead: The brisket tastes and slices best after cooled and refrigerated overnight, so making this ahead is highly encouraged.
Oven instructions: No slow cooker? Cook in the oven instead, in a baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil, or in a covered Dutch oven. Cook at 325°F for 3 to 4 hours or until very tender.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.