Jeffs Slow Cooked Braised Brisket

February 13th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Years ago, beef brisket was considered one of the least desirable cuts of meat. Cooked like other meats, it will come out tough and stringy. With no surprise, it was usually purchased by those with less money. Over the years recipes came about that made brisket one of the most sought after dishes in the Americas.

There are many ways to cook brisket, but generally all of the techniques have one common thing: low and slow cooking. By cooking (or smoking) the meat slowly, the tough connective tissue begins to break down leaving the meat soft and letting the flavor out.

One of my favorite ways to cook brisket is by braising it. This basically means cooking it slowly with liquid. Although this may remind you of a pot roast, it is really a bit different. Here is a recipe of mine that is very simple but has wowed more than a few people at my table.


  • 1 4-5 pound beef brisket (fresh, not corned).
  • 1 large Spanish onion.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, lightly chopped.
  • About a half teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1 – 3 cups of beef broth.
  • All purpose flour (about 2-3 tablespoons).
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (do not remove leaves from sprig).
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Canola oil.

Preheat oven to 225.

In a large heavy pot with a heavy lid, preferably a dutch oven (must be oven safe), bring up to a medium high heat. While you are waiting, liberally salt and pepper each side of the brisket and also sprinkle each side with the cumin.

Add enough oil to the pot (once it is hot) so it coats the bottom by about 1/8 of an inch. When the oil is hot and starting to smoke, place one side of the brisket in the pot and sear for about 4-5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side. Remove brisket from pot and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium low. Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add about 1/2 cup of beef broth and using a wooden spoon, scrape off any of the burnt bits from the bottom of the pot and incorporate into the stock. This is called deglazing. Turn the heat off and add the brisket back to the pot. Add broth until it comes half way up the side of the brisket. DO NOT COVER BRISKET WITH LIQUID!

Place the sprig of rosemary on top of the brisket and then place a heavy lid on top of the pot. Place in the oven and cook for five hours. Avoid checking it too often as the heat is low and it will affect cooking time.

Remove the brisket from the pot on to a cutting board and let rest. Discard rosemary sprig. In the mean time, pour out all of the liquid into a metal bowl and place the pot on the stove and heat to medium low. Add about 2 -3 tablespoons of canola oil and then 2-3 tablespoons of flour. This is better known as making a roux (pronounced “roo”). Cook the starchiness out of the flour for about 2-3 minutes. If it looks too dry, add some oil, too wet, add flour.

Slowly stir in the reserved liquid from the pot stopping occasionally to check the thickness. You have to let the liquid come to a boil before you will get an idea of how thick the gravy will be. A wire whisk will help the flour better incorporate into the liquid. Once your satisfied with the gravy (season with salt and pepper to taste), remove from heat.

Slice the brisket as thin as possible without breaking it apart. Serve with the gravy.

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