Angela K's Brisket

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BRISKET

PREP TIME 30 minutes 

COOK TIME 4 hours 

SERVES 10 to 12

   


The Soul

         1 6-pound first-cut (a.k.a. flat-cut) beef brisket, trimmed so that a thin layer           of fat remains

         1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt

         1 teaspoon ground black pepper

         1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

         3 tablespoons neutral oil

         8 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick

         3 tablespoons tomato paste

         3 cloves garlic, whole but smashed 

         1 carrot, whole

         Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

The Magic

  1. Season the brisket on both sides with the salt and pepper.
  2. Lightly dust both sides of the brisket with flour. 
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large ovenproof enameled cast-iron pot (or other large heavy pot with a lid). The brisket should fit snugly. 
  4. Put the brisket in the pot.
  5. Sear on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until crusty brown areas appear on the surface.
  6. Transfer the meat to a platter.
  7. Set an oven rack in the middle position. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Turn up the stove heat a bit.
  10. Add the onions to the pot. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. 
  11. Cook the onions for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the onions have softened and are golden brown, but don’t let them caramelize.
  12. If browned bits stick to the bottom of the pan and start to burn, add a few tablespoons of water and scrape with a wooden spoon to release them.
  13. Turn off the heat.
  14. Place the brisket, fatty side up, and any accumulated juices from the platter, on top of the onions.
  15. Spread the tomato paste over the brisket (like icing a cake). 
  16. Add the garlic and carrot around the edges of the pot. 
  17. Cover the pot.
  18. Transfer to the oven.
  19. Cook the brisket for 1 1/2 hours.
  20. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. continued…

  1. Using a very sharp knife, slice the beef across the grain into approximately 1/8-inch-thick slices. 
  2. Return the slices to the pot, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice. The end result should resemble the original unsliced brisket leaning slightly backward. 
  3. Check the seasonings.
  4. Baste the meat with the pan juices.
  5. If the sauce appears dry, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of water to the pot.
  6. Cover the pot and return to the oven. 
  7. Lower the heat to 325°F.
  8. Cook the meat until it is fork-tender, around 2 hours longer, or longer if necessary. 
  9. Check once or twice during cooking to make sure that the liquid is not evaporating. If it is, add a few more teaspoons of water—but not much. 
  10. Also, each time you check, spoon some of the liquid on top of the brisket so that it drips down between the slices.
  11. It is ready to serve with its juices.

Notes

  1. You can skip slicing midway, just keep roasting very low and slow.
  2. If the sauce seems greasy:
    1. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. 
    2. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let sit until the fat rises to the top. 
    3. Using a small ladle, spoon out the fat. 
    4. Pour the skimmed gravy back over the meat.

 

Make-Ahead

  1. The brisket is even better the second day.
  2. The brisket can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated. 
  3. The cooked brisket also freezes well for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator 2 days ahead of time.
  4. Reheat the brisket, covered, in a 300°F oven until hot, for about 45 minutes.

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