This brisket is simple, savory and less tomato-y than many brisket recipes.
Make Ahead: The flavor of the cooked meat will improve with up to 3 days' refrigeration. Before reheating, discard any congealed fat. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil; heat in a 350-degree oven until warmed through. Discard any congealed fat from the onions and cooking liquids, then proceed with the directions for making the sauce (see below).
Servings: 6 - 8
- One 4- to 5-pound brisket, preferably first-cut (see NOTE)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed
- 2 pounds yellow onions, cut in half then cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 large cloves garlic, cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; turn on the vent fan (if you have one) for your stovetop.
Rinse the brisket and dry it with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and black pepper.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (uncovered) or stovetop-safe roasting pan over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the brisket fat side down and brown for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn the meat over and brown for about 5 minutes on the second side. Transfer to a large platter. Reduce the heat to medium.
There should be about 2 tablespoons of fat in the Dutch oven or roasting pan; if not, add oil as needed.
Add the onions and brown sugar; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft and have just started to brown.
Add the garlic, tomato paste and paprika; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then add the wine and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the broth; as soon as it has heated through and starts bubbling at the edges, remove from the heat.
Return the brisket and any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven or roasting pan. Cover tightly (with aluminum foil on the pan) and transfer to the oven. Slow-roast for 3 to 4 hours, until fork-tender, turning the brisket over once per hour.
Carefully transfer the brisket to a platter while you make the sauce. Cover loosely to keep warm.
(At this point, the brisket can be cooled, then covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. The onions and any cooking liquids should be cooled, then covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a blender or food processor. Transfer any cooking liquids to a large fat separator cup and let cool for 15 minutes.
Add the defatted cooking liquids to the onions (in the blender or food processor). Puree until smooth, then transfer to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the puree has reduced by about one-third. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
When ready to serve, transfer the brisket to a cutting board and cut across the grain into thin slices; arrange on a (clean) platter. Pour the warm sauce over the brisket, covering the slices as evenly as possible. Serve warm.
NOTE: A first-cut brisket is leaner than the second, or deckle, cut. Ideally, a thin pad of fat is good to have on one side, for long braising.
Adapted from "Passover: A Kosher Collection," by Pam Reiss (self-published, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.