Prep 25 mins
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins
a garlic lovers delight
- 36 cloves garlic (or an equivalent amount of smaller cloves, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 lbs first-cut beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat,wiped with a damp paper towel,and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 cups beef broth or 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or a good-quality,low-sodium canned
- 3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon, zest of
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Drop the garlic cloves into boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Drain immediately.
- Peel as soon as the garlic is cool enough to handle.
- Set aside on paper towels to dry.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan or casserole large enough to accommodate the meat in one layer.
- Use two burners, if necessary.
- Add the brisket and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the brisket to a platter and set aside.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat remaining in the pan and add the garlic cloves.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic edges are tinged with gold.
- Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Add the stock, thyme and rosemary sprigs and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Salt and pepper the brisket to taste on all sides, and add it to the pan, fat side up.
- Spoon the garlic cloves over the meat.
- Place the brisket in the oven, cover and cook, basting every half-hour, until the meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours or longer.
- (As the meat cooks, periodically check that the liquids are bubbling gently. If they are boiling rapidly, turn the oven to 300 degrees).
- Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and tent it loosely with foil.
- Prepare the gravy.
- Strain the braising mixture, reserving the garlic and discarding the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
- Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the liquid.
- Puree about 1/2 of the cooked garlic and 1 cup of the defatted braising liquid in a food processor or a blender.
- Transfer the pureed mixture, the remaining braising liquid, and the rest of the cooked garlic to a skillet.
- Add the reserved chopped rosemary, minced garlic and the lemon zest.
- Boil down the gravy over high heat, uncovered, to the desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- (If you want a smooth gravy, puree all of the cooked garlic cloves.) Cut the brisket into thin slices across the grain at a slight diagonal.
- Arrange the sliced brisket on a serving platter.
- Spoon some of the hot gravy all over the meat and pass the rest in a separate sauce boat.
I made this last night in advance of a festive Friday night dinner. Of course, I had to try it out before serving it to tonight's guests. By the time I had finished the entire recipe it was close to midnight, but this was one of the best midnight snacks I have ever been treated to. Excellent recipe, the lemon zest makes it unique for me and I'm glad I found this recipe. If you are used to just dumping and can of cranberry sauce and some onion soup over your brisket and forgetting about it in your crockpot, this may not be the recipe for you. But if you want to try something wonderful, this is the recipe to try. And, by the way, I only used 34 cloves of garlic ;-)