Sunday, January 31, 2010


Can you think of a better dish for a Sunday family dinner?  This is my oldest daughter's all-time favorite.  In this picture you can see that I serve it over polenta (grits).  I also like to serve this in small rolls for a big party.  I hope you try it!

Adapted from a March 2005, Washington Post recipe

2 ½ - to 3 ½ -pound beef brisket (first cut, if possible)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pureed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 to 1 ½ cups beef broth (homemade or store bought)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rub brisket on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic. In a large ovenproof pot on medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the meat and sear, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the meat from the pot; set aside.  Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the wine has reduced, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.  Place the seared meat on top of the onion, fat side up. Cover evenly with the sugar, then cover with ketchup. Pour broth around the meat until the sides of the brisket are covered but the top is not immersed. Cover tightly first with a layer aluminum foil, then the pot lid, and cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours.

Remove meat from the pot and if eating immediately you may shred with two forks --it will be too soft to slice.  I like to let the meat cool and refrigerate the meat and sauce seperately for a few hours or usually overnight.  The next day the meat will be easy to slice thinly on the diagonal.   The fat in the sauce will rise to the top and be easy to remove after it has cooled in the refrigerator.  Heat as much sauce as you like and add sliced meat to sauce and turn to coat evenly. Serve hot.
*I like to use organic ketchup because it is the only kind without high fructose corn syrup!
This is what the pot looks like after the brisket has been seared on both sides.
See how the red wine has reduced (evaporated)?
here the brown sugar and ketchup are added
now the broth is added but see how it is not covering, just up sides
covering with the foil and lid are important to help the brisket cook evenly