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Smoked wagyu brisket from Arizona Biltmore

Off the Menu: Smoked wagyu brisket at Arizona Biltmore

Get ready for summer grilling season! Gregory Joseph, executive sous chef at Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, shares the secret to a perfectly smoked brisket. | By Leanne Philip | April 25, 2023

The perfect stay doesn’t exi — oh wait, yes it does. If your idea of a good time involves bold flavors (with a side of desert glamour, of course) then we have the perfect destination in mind. Enter Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. The iconic property has been a playground for celebrities (Clark Gable had a specially designated suite right off the lobby so he could enjoy prime people-watching during his stays), presidents and relaxation-loving locals since 1929 — and for good reason. Especially if that reason is centered around one-of-a-kind dining experiences featuring premium ingredients, fiery Latin spices and “the essence of smoke.”

To quote Gregory Joseph, executive sous chef at Arizona Biltmore’s on-property restaurant Renata’s Hearth, “Renata’s ... is the magnetic meeting of fire and merriment, heady flavors and sultry aromas. It is here that the artful crafting of Latin fire [comes together] in a seductive setting of sheer delight, fine food and fabulously good times.”

We couldn’t agree more – and what better way to experience that addictive combination than through the restaurant’s signature smoked wagyu brisket. While the preparation is simple (ideal for anyone looking to elevate their summer grilling skills!), the key to making this mouthwatering dish is the right combination of wood — Joseph recommends pecan and mesquite — and the mix of peppercorns in the rub. The black and green peppercorns add different levels of space and then the pink comes in to infuse aromatics and sweetness — each adding a distinct layer to the smoked brisket’s overall flavor profile.

Chef Joseph, who credits his mentor chef Fabrice Poigin for inspiring his strong cooking foundation and love for the craft, has one more tip when making Renata’s signature smoked wagyu brisket: “One should be happy when cooking — your emotions reflect on your food, and it shows in the end product.”

Luckily, with a dish like this — made for sharing and enjoying with a crowd — happiness and good times aren’t hard to come by.


4 pounds wagyu beef

Peppercorn seasoning

Peppercorn seasoning ingredients

2 ounces green peppercorn

2 ounces black peppercorn

2 ounces pink peppercorn

6 ounces kosher salt

Salsa verde ingredients

3 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup lime juice

Kosher salt, to taste

2 garlic cloves

3 husked tomatillos

1 yellow onion, quartered

2 jalapenos

71 grams cilantro, roughly chopped with stems

Salsa roja ingredients

1 1/3 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup lime juice

Kosher salt, to taste

2 garlic cloves

2 Roma tomatoes

½ red bell pepper

½ red onion

2 serrano peppers

Additional ingredients

Corn or flour tortillas

Peppercorn seasoning preparation

In a mortar, add equal parts green, black and pink peppercorn. Use a pestle to crush the peppercorn mixture. Note: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a spice grinder.

Add the kosher salt to the mixture and combine well. Transfer mixture to smaller bowl and set aside.

Wagyu brisket preparation

On a clean cutting board, trim off fat from the wagyu based on personal preference.

Sprinkle peppercorn mixture on both sides to season. Tip: Add a generous amount of seasoning to the front side of the meat because it’s thicker.

Transfer wagyu to a wire rack and refrigerate for 12 hours.

After removing from refrigerator, place the meat in a smoker for about 8 hours. Note: If you don’t have a smoker at home, you can set it in the oven between 260 F (126 C) and 275 F (135 C) checking it often, between every 40-60 minutes, for about 8 hours.

For added flavor, spray wagyu with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. This creates a bark on the outer layer of meat while cooking.

Once the brisket temperature is 185 F (85 C), remove it from the smoker (or the oven), wrap it in butcher’s paper and place back in smoker (oven) for 8 to 10 hours until temperature reaches 195 F (90.5 C).

Use mesquite or pecan wood in your smoker for a distinctive smokey flavor that won’t overpower.

Remove brisket from smoker (oven) when it reaches 195 F (90.5 C) degrees. Let it rest for at least an hour.

Place vegetables for the sauces on to the grill and roast them until slightly brown.

Add tortillas to the side of the grill to lightly char them and keep them warm.

Once the smoked wagyu brisket has rested for an hour, place it on a cutting board and slice into thin pieces.

Plate with grilled vegetables of choice and enjoy!

Salsa verde preparation

In a blender, combine vegetable stock, lime juice, kosher salt, garlic cloves, tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and cilantro. Blend until smooth.

Place mixture in a small serving bowl.

Salsa roja preparation

In a blender, combine vegetable stock, lime juice, kosher salt, garlic cloves, Roma tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion and serrano peppers. Blend until smooth.

Place mixture in a small serving bowl.

(Recipe from Gregory Joseph, executive sous chef, Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, 2022.)

Leanne Philip is a content marketing manager at Hilton. She has written for numerous print and digital platforms, including Travel + Leisure, The Atlantan and Barneys New York.

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