My Favorite Brisket Recipe

October 3, 2016

This is, essentially, a Belgian beef carbonnade, made with brisket instead of stewing meat.  But the principle is the same: you’re braising beef in a slew of onions, using beer as the liquid.  What makes this so satisfying is that you cook it ahead of time, cool it, refrigerate it overnight and then remove all the fat.  What you end up with is very tender meat in a deeply aromatic sauce.

Begin with a 4-5 pound brisket, dry it well and shower it with salt and pepper. Slick a large pan with neutral oil, get it hot, and sear the meat on both sides. Remove it to platter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice 4 to 6 onions (you cannot have too many) by cutting them in half lengthwise and then cutting them into long ribbons, and cook them in the fat remaining in the pan until they’ve become golden and extremely aromatic.

Put half of the onions into a large casserole with a cover, add the brisket and top with the remaining onions.  Toss in a bay leaf, a bottle of beer, and a splash of balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Cover and put into the oven. (If you have a bouillon cube of some kind, you might want to throw that in as well.) Now relax for three and a half hours, enjoying the wonderful aroma that begins to creep into every corner of your house.

Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool completely.  Then put into the refrigerator overnight (or up to a couple of days).

Remove all the congealed fat from the top of the pot.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the brisket and slice it, against the grain.  Put half of the onion sauce into an 8 by 13 inch pan (really, any flat pan will do), top with the sliced brisket and the remaining sauce, cover very well with foil and reheat in the oven for about an hour and a quarter.

Taste, season with salt, pepper and perhaps another splash of balsamic vinegar and serve to 8 to 10 very happy people.




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  • H.Harra says:

    What kind of beer to use? A lager or ale? Would a local micro brew be considered?

  • Art salis says:

    I make my “Famous” brisket with beer and lots of onions . I use a jar of Heinz chili sauce , a bottle of any beer and cook it in a Electric skillet for at least three hours at just above simmer or around 225° The next day it’s always better once the extra fat is removed…

  • Peggy says:

    which cut of brisket do you prefer to use?
    The point end?
    Or the flat end?

    • admin says:

      Hi Peggy: Definitely the deckle (point end). The flavor in meat is all in the fat, and I want as much flavor as I can get. The point end is where the fat is.

  • Peggy says:

    Thank you for your reply … deckle it IS!!!

  • Andrika S Brown says:

    I’ve made this several times for guests and family. Each time I think “why didn’t I get a bigger piece of meat” it is that delicious. So little effort and such a delicious result. Thank you Ruth. You’ve made me smile with joy so many times.

  • Gail Woodruff moore says:

    Do you just pour the beer over the top of the meat or just around the edges of the meat?


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