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.