I just assumed that everyone had a “go-to” brisket recipe, until the other day when one of my Facebook friends was looking for an easy recipe. I put my two cents in, since I really just can’t help myself. I guess my recipe isn’t super simple for brisket novices, but she told me I lost her when I got to “sear the meat.” However, for those of you who have made brisket once or twice, I thought I would break down my recipe with lots of photos, to make it less daunting. It is really easy, though it is a bit time consuming. However, it can be done a day in advance, sliced, and reheated right before serving, and it is truly delicious. This is for those of you that want something extra special, or for when you just can’t face that old barbecue brisket one more time.
I used two small brisket for this recipe, but it would work with one larger brisket as well (or a single smaller brisket, just reduce everything by half).
First, salt and pepper your meat liberally. Heat a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat. (I use my turkey roaster)
After about 5 minutes in the smoking hot pan, flip your meat. Use tongs, if possible.
Then cut up some mushrooms, celery, carrots (or just use the baby carrots in a bag!), garlic and shallot (onion can be substituted).
Put all of the veggies in the pan and let them cook a bit on the stove top. They do not have to be done all the way through. This baby is going to be cooking in the oven for a LONG time.
Add your tomato paste, wine and beef stock, a couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper (not too much at this point!), a couple of pinches of sugar to cut the acidity, and thyme. The liquid should come almost all the way up to the top of the meat without covering it. Fat side should be facing up.
Cover the whole shebang tightly with some aluminum foil. Pop this whole thing into a 300 degree oven for 3-4 hours.
After the long braise, remove meat to a cutting board and let cool for about 15-20 minutes. Slice against the grain.
Remove 1/2 vegetables to a separate bowl. Make sure to discard the bay leaves at this point.
Now, I pour half the braising liquid from the pan and the remaining veggies into a big pot. Leave the other half of the braising liquid in the roasting pan. I then blend it as smooth as possible with my immersion blender. If you don’t have one (run to the store and buy one!) blend in batches in your regular blender. Seriously, the immersion blender is right up there with sliced bread IMHO.
Next, arrange the sliced brisket in the pan with the braising liquid. Return to a 300 degree oven for about 1-2 hours or until ready to serve. The meat will be falling apart tender at this point! Serve with the blended gravy and vegetables the side. Your guests will go on and on about how wonderful you are. Be prepared for fawning.
- 1 large or 2 small beef briskets (about 5-7 lbs total)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces mushrooms, whole or halved
- 8 ounces baby carrots
- 2 ribs celery, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 large shallots or 1 onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 bottle dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 box beef stock (might be a little left over)
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Heat a large roasting pan on the stove (might take two burners) over medium-high heat with the olive oil.
- Season brisket(s) with salt and pepper liberally.
- Sear fat side down for 5-7 minutes or until a deep brown crust forms.
- Flip and sear for 5 more minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic.
- Brown the vegetables for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste, wine and beef stock until liquid comes about 1/2 inch from the top of the brisket.
- Season sparingly with sugar and additional salt and pepper (about 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Braise in oven for 3-4 hours.
- Remove meat to cutting board.
- Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Slice against the grain, about 1/4 inch slices or thinner.
- Remove half the vegetables and braising liquid to a large pot.
- Blend well until smooth with an immersion blender to make the gravy.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- If gravy is too thick (is this possible?), thin with a little beef stock.
- Set aside.
- Remove remaining vegetables to a serving bowl and set aside.
- Place brisket slices side by side in remaining braising liquid in the roasting pan. (If doing a day ahead, cover and refrigerate all components at this point).
- Cover tightly with foil and braise for 1 1/2- 2 additional hours at 300 degrees.
- Serve hot brisket slices with reheated gravy and vegetables on the side.