The traditional flavor profile and techniques employed here will produce the most absolutely perfect brisket. We are stovetop-searing, oven-braising and employing the customary combo of aromatics. But please do not misinterpret classic as boring. This brisket is utter perfection, a family favorite. In fact, this finished dish is simply irresistible.
Technique tip: Through this recipe you will learn how to deglaze with good quality dry red wine, enhance and bulk your braising liquid with beef broth and reduce your sauce to the taste and consistency you like best. Once you master this dish, this flavor profile and these techniques the sky is the limit when it comes to riffing on this classic or totally inventing your own recipe.
- Olive oil
- One (4-5 pound) beef brisket, 2nd cut
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 2 medium red onions, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups good-quality dry red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 bouquet garni: 6 parsley stems, 3 thyme sprigs, 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 4-6 inch strip of lemon zest, tied in a cheese cloth
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Pat dry the brisket and generously season both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Sear the brisket, in the hot oil, until nicely browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a rimmed baking pan and set aside.
4. Add oil if necessary, to lightly coat the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add onions, carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and sauté stirring occasionally until the onions are softened and golden about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and sear the paste until it has darkened and is very fragrant. The paste should be dark red and not black.
5. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits with a spatula. Add the beef broth.
6. Add brisket and any accumulated juices and the bouquet garni. Cover and braise at 300°F for 3½ to 4 hours or until a fork can be inserted into and removed from the center of the brisket with no resistance.
7. Carefully remove brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if you will be serving immediately.
8. Strain vegetables and bouquet garni and discard. Pour the braising liquid into a saucepan and reduce over medium heat to concentrate the flavors and/or until the liquid coats the back of a spoon. Skim any fat that pools at the top, if desired. Adjust seasoning once you have reached desired consistency.
9. Slice brisket across the grain and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve any extra sauce in a gravy boat on the side.