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Classic Beef Brisket

by in Jan 2011
Classic Beef Brisket
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Total Time: 45

Yield: 8 servings

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 degrees oven about 40 minutes. This beef brisket recipe is also terrific as a hot or cold sandwich with mustard and pickles.

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Classic Beef Brisket
Photo/Art by Michael Piazza


  • 1 5-6-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 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, or in a deep, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pan with lid, heat olive oil over medium-high setting and brown brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove brisket to a plate.
Add onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and saute about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 5 minutes more. Add 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 the meat into the vegetables and liquid. Cover, and cook in oven about 3 hours or until very tender, turning meat over every 45 minutes or so.
Transfer meat to platter and let rest 20 minutes. Strain pot juices and discard solids. Let pot 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.
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.
Updated Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

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