With apologies to my mom, Minerva, the only thing I remember about her brisket was that she used Lipton Onion Soup mix as the secret and only ingredient. I tried her recipe years ago and the brisket was kind of tough, flavorless, and didn’t have enough liquid for gravy.
When I explored other recipes, the most popular used ketchup, orange juice and even Coca Cola. I’m not a fanatic, but I really don’t want tons of sugar and chemicals added to my meat. Sugar belongs in dessert, chemicals belong in a lab.
My recipe is loaded with great flavor, the meat is moist and tender and there is lots of gravy. If you are salivating over the thought of this dish, but are afraid that 5 pounds of brisket is a lot for your household, no worries. Part of the appeal of this recipe is the leftovers. If it doesn’t all disappear the first night you serve it, think about making beef dip sandwiches, brisket hash, brisket burritos or a brisket ragu.
I might just have to make another brisket, just for the leftovers.
OVEN BRAISED BARBECUE BRISKET
EVENT: Dinner with the Guys
SERVES: 8-10 People
1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons ground ancho chili pepper (separated in 2 portions)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large or 3 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups good red wine
5-6 pound first cut brisket, rinsed and patted dry
2-3 tablespoons neutral oil (grapeseed or canola)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dutch oven with tight fitting lid
- Combine salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon chili powder and cumin to make a rub.
- Rub both sides of the brisket and set aside at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- On stove top, heat oil in bottom of Dutch oven and brown brisket on both sides, starting with fat side down. This will take approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove brisket from pan and set aside.
- Add onions, crushed garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon of chili powder and saute until spice are evenly distributed and onions slightly cooked. Add the tomato paste.
- Place brisket back in Dutch oven on top of onion mixture, fat side up. Add 2 cups red wine. You want brisket 1/2-2/3 covered with liquid. You can add more liquid as it cooks. Place lid on pan and cook 4 hours. Check it every hour to make sure there is still enough liquid. Feel free to add water if liquid evaporates.
- At 4 hours, it will be perfect. Make this a day ahead and refrigerate. The next day transfer brisket to a cutting board, cut off the fat and cut against the grain into slices.
- Remove any congealed fat from the pan. Place entire contents of Dutch oven in a food processor, blender or Vitamix and puree. Put gravy back in Dutch oven, top with sliced brisket and warm in oven.
- If you need to serve it the day you make it, remove whole brisket from pan, put ice cubes on top of onion mixture which will cool it down and congeal the fat, so it’s easily removed. Then proceed to puree cooled onion mixture and add back sliced brisket. Warm covered in oven.