Braised Brisket


Serves 6

Cool weather late winter and early spring sends us looking for comfort food. Here is an entree to go with our Estate Grown Pinot Noir: medium weight, and lots of fruit on the middle palate.

A braise is another word for a simmered stew, with variation, including leaving the meat whole and slicing it across the grain. I like the texture and flavor of fresh brisket versus corned beef, which starts with a lesser cut than fresh brisket. Choose a Dutch oven that will hold the meat and vegetables comfortably, but not too much extra room. Plan to make your brisket a day ahead, which allows you to refrigerate it in the broth, and skim off the fat the following morning.

  • 3 to 4 lbs fresh brisket, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups homemade beef broth* (Oxtail broth made ahead with fat removed and frozen is my favorite. I discard the tiny bit of funny meat and just savor the broth.)
  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered and inserted into cuts in the meat before sauteéing.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 large carrot, rough chop
  • 2 stalks celery, rough chop
  • 1 onion, rough chop
  • 2 ts salt (less if you are using canned beef broth*)
  • Good grind of fresh pepper
  • Olive oil for browning brisket
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees

Pat brisket dry with paper towels and insert cut garlic slices uniformly on both sides

Salt and pepper brisket

Brown meat in small amount of olive oil

Set meat aside

Brown vegetables in oil left from meat, and just lightly brown, 3 minutes or so

Add wine and stock to pan and bring to a simmer

Add rosemary and bay leaf

Return brisket to pan and bring to full simmer

Place in pre-heated oven for 2 to 3 hours, covered. It should be fork tender.

Allow meat to cool in broth, and refrigerate overnight

Next day remove meat and scrape off any fat from broth. At this point you can pulse broth in a food processor for smooth sauce.

Bring broth to boil to concentrate flavors and reduce to desired consistency

Return meat and reheat gently when you are 45 minutes from serving

Slice meat against grain and pour some of the broth over

Serve rest of broth separately with a swirl of butter

Serve with soft polenta or mashed potatoes and a seasonal green vegetable.