Barbecue/ Leftovers/ Meat

Barbecue Brisket Loaded Potato Gems

Big, bold and tasty flavours are the call of the day with this clever and indulgent way to use up leftover smoked beef brisket. Warning: wear loose pants.

Those who know me would know that I am, more often than not, a pretty strict proponent of making everything I can from scratch.

But, guess what?

Sometimes, it’s okay to go to the supermarket and pick up a big ol’ bag of frozen, processed potato gems. It’s okay because if you do it, the world isn’t going to end. And it’s doubly okay to do it when you know that you are about to load these totsters with fantastically punchy barbecue sauce, and then layer them with superbly smokey beef brisket, and then you’re going to layer some stringy mozzarella, finish it all off with some refreshing sour cream, jalapenos and spring onions, and everything will be right in the world.

We all know of nachos and we all know of loaded fries – this is pretty much a mashup of the two. I saw a mind-blowing creation not long ago on a blog I closely follow, by fellow Aussie (now honourary Texan) Jess Pryles, and I knew I just had to try it.

To get this dish on the go in all its marvellous glory, you will need to get your hands on some leftover smoked beef brisket. To make one of these is a labour of love, but my husband and I enjoy it immensely, so find we get the fire lit to furnish one quote regularly. Stay tuned and I will post our methods for the perfect beef brisket soon (sign up to the newsletter to be sure you don’t miss it).

When saucing, I always try to use a home-made barbecue sauce, because bottled, bulk, sugary-sweet barbecue sauce makes me go a bit something-something. I just can’t stand that sugary taste and prefer something with a bit more panache. And then, right at the end, I also like to add a special depth of flavour with my Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce. This is optional, but highly recommended… I will be adding the recipe to the site soon, so be sure to follow so you don’t miss out when it drops. If you make this one, make sure you double the quantities and bottle it – it’s life changing.

Anyway, the Americans call these babies (and all their hundreds of possible variations) ‘totchos’ – a portmanteau coined from a combination of ‘tater tots’ and ‘nachos’. Frankly, if you aren’t drooling already, then you may need to have your head checked.

There is nothing upscaled or refined here, and there are certainly no forks required. The best part is that, no matter what anyone says, taking an already greasy product and making it even greasier, is actually a hell of a lot of delicious fun. But let’s remember this is a ‘sometimes’ food.

These loaded gems are good. Really, really good. So good, that you may never want to eat a plain potato gem (or nachos, for that matter) ever again. I just want to keep getting down with these big, bold and tasty flavours… so don’t be surprised if you see a few more variations of these popping up on Nosh in the future.

Barbecue Brisket Loaded Potato Gems

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Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 45 minutes


  • 1kg bag frozen potato gems
  • 200g shredded smoked brisket
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sliced spring onion
  • 1 sliced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup Carolina Mustard Sauce (optional)



Cook the potato gems in the oven according to bag instructions. Season with salt if necessary.


Preheat oven to 180C


Place the cooked and slightly cooled potato gems on an oven tray or in a shallow casserole dish or oven-safe skillet.


Layer shredded brisket on top, followed by a generous drizzle of barbecue sauce and a scattering of cheese.


Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until brisket is warm and cheese is melted.


Remove from oven and lightly drizzle with more barbecue sauce and Carolina Mustard sauce (if using).


Top with dollops of sour cream, then garnish with spring onions and sliced jalapenos. Serve immediately.

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