Braised Beef Brisket with Onions
It’s hard not to love a good brisket. After braising in vermouth, beef stock, porcini mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and a handful of herbs, the meat is deeply flavorful, fork-tender, and succulent. But, in this case, we have to give the simmering broth and all those braised vegetables equal billing — we could eat them by the bowlful.
We rub the brisket down with spices and sear it to a nice, deep brown before it goes into the braise, so it gives the broth a rich, caramelized depth. We also go big with the vegetables: There are four whole onions, two cups of tomatoes, and a handful of porcinis in the pot. We love how the broth concentrates their bright, earthy flavors as it cooks down — they just sort of melt over the brisket, soft, intensely flavorful, and so comforting.
Brisket makes a wonderful Hanukkah dinner. It braises away in the oven for half the day and fills the house with the cozy aroma of roasting beef. We’d pair it with a bottle of Baron Herzog Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a pile of potato latkes — they soak up all the brisket juices and taste wonderful with a bite of the braised veggies.
Our tip: This brisket is just as tender and delicious on day two. We like it on a slice of challah toast with some bright horseradish for ballast.
P.S. Want to make Hanukkah dinner extra-easy this year? We offer restaurant-caliber premade holiday dinners for pickup, whether you need the whole meal or just a few extra sides. All you have to do is reheat! Pickup is between December 5-15. Last day to order is December 13. Order yours here: gelsons.com/HanukkahCatering
Braised Beef Brisket with Onions
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Rub the seasonings all over the brisket.
- In a medium, heat-proof bowl, cover the dried porcini with the hot water and set aside until softened, about 20 minutes. Reserving the soaking liquid, remove the mushrooms. Rinse and coarsely chop.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a large, enameled, cast-iron casserole dish, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until well-browned, about 8 minutes per side.
- Transfer the brisket to a platter and pour off any excess fat.
- Add the vermouth, beef stock, and reserved mushroom soaking liquid to the casserole. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom, and stir in the tomatoes, porcini, and bay leaves.
- Return the brisket to the casserole, fat side up. Scatter the onions and garlic over the meat and liquid. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
- Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Spoon the onions on top of the brisket and cook for about 30 minutes longer to brown the onions. Push some of the onions back into the liquid. Cover and braise for about 2 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender.
- Transfer the brisket to a carving board and cover it loosely with foil.
- Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, until it is deeply flavored. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves.
- Cutting across the grain, carve the brisket into ½-inch slices and arrange them on a large, warmed platter. Spoon the sauce and onions over the meat to serve.
Recipe source: Food&Wine