Brisket is one of the glories of grilling season, but, even if you own a smoker, preparing it can be a labor of love. Slow cooking it in the oven renders equally tender results yet is much easier. Ask your butcher for the flat cut (as opposed to the point cut) of the brisket, as it has less fat and is easier to slice.
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) cider vinegar
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) beef broth
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) beef brisket
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and broth. Set aside.
Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the allspice. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until blended, about 3 minutes. Pour in the reserved broth mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C). Return the brisket to the pot, cover and cook in the oven until the brisket is very tender, 3 to 4 hours. Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid.
Let the brisket cool in the cooking liquid then transfer the brisket to a cutting board and slice the brisket across the grain. Warm the cooking liquid over medium heat. Arrange the slices on a platter, top with the warm cooking liquid and onions and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012)