Braising a beef brisket is one of the easiest one-pot meals you can make.
It’s affordable, convenient and also delicious. It’s especially recommended if you are having company because you can assemble it hours before your guests arrive and it will sit patiently in your oven until you are ready to serve it.
Meat that is naturally tender — such as the beef tenderloin or the chicken breast — are composed of muscles the animal rarely uses. Since chickens don’t fly, for example, their breast meat does not get much use.
But muscles that are used a lot — such as the leg and shoulder — build up strong connective tissue between the muscle fibers. This causes the meat to be tough to chew.
But you can dissolve this tough connective tissue by cooking the meat for a very long time. And in order to keep it from drying out, you can cook it partially submerged in a liquid. This is the precise definition of braising.
You can braise a beef brisket — which is the same cut of meat used for corned beef, incidentally — in just about anything. Some people use beer, others a tomato-based broth.
Both are great, but for this recipe I simply braised it in beef stock and some mirepoix, which is a combination of seared carrots, celery and onion. Add a couple of potatoes midway through the cooking cycle and you’ve got a wonderfully tender one-pot meal that’s perfect for parties.
Because the beef and potatoes is a little heavier, I balanced the plate with some light zucchini quickly sauteed with white onion and garlic.
Braised Beef Brisket
2 to 3 lb Beef Brisket, fat cap removed
2 TBS Barbeque seasoning
2 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
4 Carrots, peeled and rough chop
1 white onion, peeled and rough chop
3 stalks celery, ribs and leaves included, rough chop
2 TBS Additional EVOO
1 bay leaf
16 oz Low sodium beef stock
1 lb Red potatoes, quartered
1. Season brisket on both sides with barbeque seasoning. Put cast iron pan on fire. When hot, add EVOO. When smoking, place brisket in pan, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot oil. Char on both sides until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F. Place large pot on fire. When hot, add EVOO. When smoking, add onions, carrots and celery. Cook until onion translucent, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef stock and bay leaf, then lay brisket on top of mirepoix. Put lid on pot and put entire pot in oven. Cook 90 minutes.
3. Remove pot from oven and add potatoes. Return pot to oven and cook an additional 50 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200F and hold until ready to serve.
4. To plate, remove brisket to a cutting board. Use a slotted spoon to heap a pile of the potato/mirepoix mixture in center of plate. Use a sharp carving knife to cut thin slices of brisket against the grain and place on top of vegetables. Garnish if you wish with chopped parsley.
What easy meals do you like to make when company is coming over? Share your ideas in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!