Brisket is a wonderful cut of meat, and is cooked in oh so many ways. It’s the basis for Texas Brisket BBQ, Southern Brisket and a staple at Passover and Chanukah in many homes of Jewish decent. It is a piece cut from the chest of the cow and is best braised low and slow, to render the fat and make the meat tender and tasty. It has as many recipe variations as there are family trees, and this is mine. I too, have made many different versions, but this one is a constant. It turns out perfectly every time.
Brisket is one of those dishes, like soups, chili, etc. that taste better when the flavors have had time to meld and layer. I partially cook it the first day, slice it down and return to the fridge. The next day I bring the pan to room temperature and finish the cooking process for an additional hour or more. This leaves the meat still in slices but fork tender.
- 5 to 8# Beef Brisket
- 1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced thin
- 5 to 6 carrots, peeled and chunked
- 1 celery heart, cleaned, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed with the side of the blade, skins removed
- 1 x 15oz can of tomato sauce
- 1/4 C Apple cider vinegar
- 15 oz dry red wine
- 15 oz beef broth, stock or consomme
- 2 to 4 bay leaves
- Salt & pepper
- 1 packet of Roasting herbs–rosemary, thyme & parsley
- Large roasting pan and about 6 feet of heavy duty aluminum foil
- Preheat the oven to 325. Center the foil in the middle of the roasting pan.
- Cut the onion in half, then in thin slices and spread on the bottom of the pan
- Pat the brisket dry and salt and pepper both sides, leaving the roast in the pan fat side up. Do not trim the fat; it will render off and give the meat and gravy a great flavor. (I used approx. 1 tbsp. kosher salt for each side and about 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. ground pepper). It is the only salt in added to the dish and will give everything a wonderful flavor.
- Cut up the carrots and celery and add to the pan, then pour the tomato sauce, red wine, apple cider vinegar and beef broth into the pan as well.
- Finally, add the bay leaves, parsley, rosemary and thyme into the liquid.
Now, carefully crimp the edges of the foil so they seal and create a large pocket. I usually bring the middles together and roll them, then crimp the sides starting from the end toward the middle.
Put the entire pan into the oven, on the middle rack and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The meat will not be fully cooked yet, but will be perfect for slicing. After 2 to 2 1/2 hours, remove the pan, open the foil carefully, as there will be much more liquid in the pan as the juices from the meat have accumulated. The meat will also appear to have shrunk. Let it rest and cool for about 45 minutes to an hour, then put the meat onto a carving board.
Brisket is best carved across the grain. Look at the way the lines of the meat run and cut accordingly, in thin slices, about 1/4″ thick. This will take time, patience, and a very sharp knife. Your hands will get tired and possibly cramp. Just a heads up.
Put the meat either back into the same pan or, if you prefer, as I did tonight, divide into 2 glass casseroles. Remove all the herbs and split the gravy and veggies between the two. At this point you can refrigerate it and finish and serve it the next day, or you can cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze it. If you freeze it, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Whether you’ve defrosted it or just refrigerated it, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This will take about 45 minutes. Then, if you’ve used a glass casserole, put it covered with just foil (make sure to remove the plastic wrap if you’ve used it), place it in the middle of a cold oven. Set the temperature to 325 or 350, depending if you’re cooking anything else, and roast an additional two hours. This will bring the cooking time total to four to four and a half hours.
Serve with oven roasted potatoes, potato kugel or potato latkes and enjoy.