Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 6 hrs
This recipe is from Sara Moulton's Chanukah show on TV Food Network (the recipe can be found there, along with her story of the family connection this recipe has for her). I've included it because it's a personal favorite and because it reminds me of my mother's recipe ... except, of course, my mother's must taste better (everyone's mother makes the best ...). Sara's discussion includes a very good description of brisket from a butcher's (and consumer's viewpoint) ... you can find similar great informaton in Molly Stevens' Braising book (an IACP and Beard Foundation prize winner, so well worth having). The portions are based on a 5.5 lb brisket, 10% shrinkage during cooking and a 6 oz portion serving (10 servings). I often find people go for 8-10 oz, so don't be surprized if this turns into 7-8 servings! BTW, as with most braises, it tastes even better the next day -- I often make it a day ahead to let the flavors marry overnight ... To answer a few basic questions: the strategy here is that we will coat the brisket with a seasoned flour to create a crust and seal in the juices. We will then create a vegetable base (broth) on the stovetop, reduce it to concentrate its flavor, then reliquify it with chicken broth to braise (cook in a relatively small amount of liquid) the brisket to complete tenderness. This sounds complicated, but its really not ... and the layers of flavor are just amazing!! The horseradish sauce is made separately, on the cooktop. Variations: (1) Skip the horseradish sauce and use the pan sauce. Either one is great. (2) Skip the oven and use a slow cooker to do the braising. No fuss and keeps the kitchen cool and the oven clean. You will still need to do a fair amount on the cooktop. Each slow cooker has different temperatures, but I'd suggest starting at about 4-6 hours at high heat and using at a minimum a 5 qt cooker. (3) Kosher brisket and kosher wine makes this a kosher main course. (4) For Passover, replace the flour with matzoh meal.
- 1 head garlic, large, separated into cloves but not peeled
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 lbs beef brisket (preferably the 2nd cut also called the point cut)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 2 dried bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 1⁄2 cup horseradish, finely grated fresh (or drained prepared)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- If using a slow cooker, skip this step entirely: place your oven shelf so your casserole or Dutch oven will be in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Fill a small saucepan with water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the garlic cloves, bring back to a boil, and cook rapidly until slightly softened, about 1 minute.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a bowl of ice water and peel when cool enough to handle.
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large shallow dish or large platter.
- Coat the brisket on all sides with the seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
- Heat the oil in a large covered casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
- Add the brisket and sear, turning often, until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a plate or platter and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
- Add the onions and the peeled garlic.
- Reduce the heat to medium and saute, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and stir to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole.
- Stir in the tomato paste and add the bay leaves and thyme.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Cook rapidly, stirring often, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
- At this point, if you're using a slow cooker, transfer the contents of the casserole into the slow cooker, set the cooker for time and temperature, add the chicken stock and the brisket, cover tightly with foil and then your cooker's lid, test for doneness with a fork (see step 20) and meanwhile continue to make the sauce (step 21).
- If not using a slow cooker, pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the brisket.
- Cover tightly with a piece of foil, then cover the pot with the lid.
- Transfer to the lower third of the oven and cook until a fork comes out easily when pierced, 3 to 4 hours.
- To make the Horseradish Sauce: mix the horseradish, vinegar, mayonnaise, chives, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Stir well to blend and season with salt and pepper.
- You should have about 1 cup -- keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Transfer the brisket from the casserole (or slow cooker) to a cutting surface and cover loosely with foil.
- Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Gently skim the surface of the liquid in the casserole with a spoon to remove as much fat as possible (or you can pour off [though a sieve] into a gravy separator, let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then pour off most of the fat; putting the separator and liquid into the freezer makes the separation happen even more quickly).
- Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Thinly slice the brisket on an angle, cutting against the grain.
- Arrange the slices on a warmed serving platter or plate and spoon on some of the horseradish cream.
- Serve warm and enjoy the complements!
Since I don't have a smoker outside, I am always on the lookout for good braising recipes for brisket. This cut of beef is one of the cheapest, and can always be one of the toughest, but long, slow cooking methods usually yield a moist, tender, and delicious roast. This recipe is no exception to that rule, and will be going into my brisket cookbook to make again! I chose the easier route, and used my 6qt crockpot. The liquid plus the 5 pound brisket pretty much filled my crockpot. For next time, I think I will reduce the liquids by a third to half, so that it will be more of a braise, and less of a simmer. I also chose to cook on low all day, which resulted in a brisket so tender it couldn't be sliced - it just fell apart. :) And it tasted sooooooo good! I also used 2c. of pan juices and a T. of cornstarch to make a quick gravy (because we like thicker sauces). Delicious! Thank you, GTW, for posting this yummy yummy recipe. Made for Gnome Tag!