In Texas, a brisket would go on the grill. In Ireland it would get corned (that means a weeklong bath in herbs and salt), then boiled. And in a Jewish family, a brisket is the center of the holiday table.
Nobody will makes this better than Bubbe, but us mortals can make something pretty delicious, if we start with about 6 pounds of "point-cut" or "deckle" beef brisket—it will have more fat in it and that will make for a more delicious and moist brisket. Heat your oven to 350 and pat dry the beef—this is crucial to good sear.
Season it well on all sides with salt and pepper then brown the daylights out of it on all sides—deep brown, people. Remove it to a plate and let's really build some flavors.
To the pan, add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, wine, thyme, bay leaves, tomato, worstershire sauce, and chicken stock.
Put them brisket and any juices back in the pan. Cover and put it in the oven for 3 hours or until very tender. It's good to go for dinner or reheat the next day. Or slice and make the most delicious sandwich with grainy mustard and caramelized onions.
Yield: Serves 8
1 5 to 6 pound point-cut beef brisket
Kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups roughly chopped carrot
1 cup roughly chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 bottle dry red wine
8 large fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worstershire sauce
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups pearl onions, frozen are fine
Heat oven to 350°F.
Season brisket with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and brown brisket, on both sides; about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Add onion, carrot, celery to the pan and sauté about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté about 5 minutes more.
Add wine, thyme, and bay leaves; bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced to by half, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, Worstershire sauce, and stock and bring to a boil.
Add brisket (and any juices that have accumulated) back to the pan. And nestle into the vegetables and liquid.
Cover about place in oven for about 3 hours or until very tender, turning and the brisket over every 45 minutes or so.
Transfer meat to platter and let rest 20 minutes. Strain pan juices and discard solids. Let the pan juices sit until the fat separates. Skim off and discard the fat, add pearl onions, then bring the sauce to a boil and reduce by half.
Thinly slice meat across grain and place on a serving platter. Spoon sauce over the top and serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover meat and sauce separately; chill. Arrange meat in baking dish. Cover with foil; re-warm in 350°F oven about 40 minutes. Or terrific as a sandwich with mustard and pickles.)
(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.
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