Classic Beef BrisketPhoto Credit : Michael Piazza
In Texas, a brisket would go on the grill. In an Irish American neighborhood, it would get corned, then boiled. In a Jewish family, a brisket is the center of the holiday table. Be sure to order a “point” cut or “deckel”; it will contain more fat, which makes the meat moister and more delicious. Note that you may make this recipe a day ahead if you prefer; just cover meat and sauce separately, and chill. Before serving, arrange meat in a baking dish; cover with foil; rewarm in a 350° oven about 40 minutes. It’s also terrific as a hot or cold sandwich with mustard and pickles.
1 5- to 6-pound flat-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 Worcestershire sauce
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups pearl onions (frozen are fine)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season brisket with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high setting, heat olive oil and brown brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Add onion, carrot and celery to the pot and sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add onions, wine, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and stock and bring to a boil.
Add brisket, and any juices that have accumulated, back to the pot. Nestle into the vegetables and liquid. Cover and cook in oven about 3 hours, or until very tender, turning the brisket over every 45 minutes or so.
Transfer meat to a platter and let rest 20 minutes. Strain pot juices and discard solids. Let juices sit until the fat separates. Skim off the fat; add pearl onions, then bring the sauce to a boil and reduce by half.
Slice meat thinly across the grain and place on a serving platter. Spoon sauce over the top and serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.
You may also make this dish a day ahead. Just cover meat and sauce separately and chill. Before serving, arrange meat in a baking dish, cover with foil, and rewarm in a 350 degrees oven about 40 minutes.