With Fall in full swing, I’ve had a huge craving for braised beef. It’s like clockwork. As soon as a single leaf turns a red, I must braise. Braised chuck roasts, braised short ribs, braised shanks, and of course this lovely dish, braised brisket. Unlike most Dutch oven brisket recipes, I don’t prepare it whole. Instead, the meat is cut into about 6 equal portions and braised this way. Don’t worry, this does not detract from the finished product. If anything, the meat receives much more love and tenderness from the braising liquid and the long cooking time. Brisket is a tough cut, so a lot of patience and a good block of time is all you really need to perfect it.
This dish is best served over whipped mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. It is exactly the type of comfort needed on a cool fall day. Feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking. Use more wine and less broth or use shallots instead of onion, and always, always, always, always, adjust the salt content to your liking. However, don’t go overboard and then blame me for it. Tweak it a LITTLE!
Red Wine Braised Brisket
2 1/4 cups beef broth
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2-3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon powdered allspice
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Preheat oven for 325 degrees F.
Brisket flats are a bit uneven, so the best thing to do is cut off the excess cap of the thicker half and save it for something else. We usually freeze it and grind it with other cuts of beef to make burgers. There will still be a little fat remaining and that is okay. Just look at the picture above to guide you. Cut brisket into 6 equal pieces. If you have a smaller flat, then cut into 4 pieces. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Red meat needs salt so two grains isn’t going to do. Let me say it again. RED MEAT NEEDS SALT! Okay, now proceed with seasoning.
Heat two tablespoons (or 3) in a dutch oven over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and add brisket pieces. Brown 4 pieces at a time, or in this case 4 and then 2. Brown meat for 2 minutes per side. Remove and place onto a plate.
Add a little more olive oil to pot and cook onions over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Remove from pan.
Pour broth and wine in pan, stirring to collect any bits and flavorings left in pan. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and spices. Turn off burner. Submerge brisket pieces in liquid. Top with onion and garlic. Tie together thyme, oregano, and rosemary sprigs with kitchen twine forming a bouquet garni. Add to Dutch oven. Cover with lid and place into oven for 2 hours at 325 degrees F. After that time, reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Check liquid and add 1/2 cup more broth or wine (it’s up to you) if needed. Cover once more and put back into oven for 1 1/2 more hours. During the last half an hour, remove lid and cook for remaining time. Leave a little longer if you want braising liquid to cook down a bit more.
Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Taste before serving, adjust as needed. Enjoy.
All photos on this site were taken by Sabrina S. Baksh and is property of Food as a Metaphor/Regarding BBQ, Inc.