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Braised Beef Brisket

serves 4-6

This is a simple, classic way to braise a beef brisket. The tomato paste and balsamic vinegar give it some acidity to balance the rich meat. With softened onions and succulent beef, brisket is even better warmed up the day after cooking. 


2-3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of most of its fat
1 tablespoon olive oil (for beef) + 1 teaspoon (for vegetables)
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon unbleached all- purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


prep: 30 minutes
total: 3 hours 30 minutes


large oven-safe sauté pan with cover


1. Preheat the oven to 325F and put the rack in the lowest position. Slice away all but a thin layer of fat from the brisket. Season it generously with salt and pepper. Prep the onion and garlic.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat. Just as it begins to smoke, add the brisket and let it sear on the first side until it develops a dark brown crust, 5 minutes or so. Turn it and sear the second side until dark brown, another 5 minutes. Remove the brisket to a plate.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Stir in the onions and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until they're soft, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook just until it's fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds or so.

4. Stir in the tomato paste to coat the onions. Cook until the onions darken, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with flour and cook, stirring constantly, another 1-2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, broth and wine. Cook, stitrring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.

5. Return the brisket to the pan and spoon the sauce over it. Cover the pan and put it in the oven. Cook the brisket for 2-3 hours, until the brisket is very tender when a fork is inserted. (During cooking, spoon the sauce over the brisket a few times.

6. Remove the brisket from the oven. Put it on a cutting board. Slice it into think slices against the grain. Skim any fat from the top of the sauce with a spoon. Stir in the vinegar. Arrange the sliced brisket back into the pan with the sauce and put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley just before serving.
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