Slowly braised succulent brisket is always a crowd pleaser not only for the holidays, but for any cool night. It’s a great alternative to a turkey and it makes amazing sandwiches the following day.
The brisket is such an overlooked cut but once you have success with coaxing out its rich flavour and softening its connective tissue into tender morsels, you'll be hooked. Let's not even mention Montreal smoked meat or bbq southern style brisket right now because we'll have plenty of time during the rest of the year to talk about how to smoke or bbq the brisket. For now, I know you'll enjoy the simplicity of this recipe and urge you to add your own flavours , if you're feeling fearless.
Two very critical things that will make you the master of your brisket are first to purchase a double brisket that carries more fat on it ( remember fat means more tender) and ensuring the low enough cooking temperature for the braise. Just to be clear, braising means to gently cook in a little liquid . For best results the liquid around the meat should not cover it and should be just below a simmer the whole time. Once you raise the temperature and the liquid boils rapidly, the meat will toughen and even when you continue to cook it for hours on end, it won't yield the same moist , succulent meat.
- 4 lb piece beef brisket (1.8 kg)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil (45 ml)
- 2 strips bacon, chopped, lightly browned – fat drained
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 6 shallots, peeled and cut in half
- 750 ml bottle dry red wine (3 cups)
- 500 ml beef stock
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Lay brisket in a large shallow roasting pan or baking dish, preferably with a lid. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle with rosemary on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with browned bacon, garlic, cloves, bay leaf and orange zest. Arrange shallots around roast and pour in red wine, orange juice and beef stock, just enough to almost cover brisket. The beef should not be fully immersed but only ¾ of the way up the pan, depending on the size pan you use, this may vary.
Wrap foil around pan, making sure not to touch the top of beef. Braise covered at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 ½ hours or until beef is tender. Remove cover and continue to cook for about 30 minutes to allow liquid to slightly evaporate, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Remove brisket and slice across the grain and serve with sauce poured over top.