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beef brisket

I never grew up eating brisket, it just wasn’t something my mother ever made. It wasn’t even until college that I ever had it. I was at my friend’s house for the Jewish holidays and her mom was making brisket, like she did every year, so I was really excited to try it. Apparently her brisket is pretty popular in the family because it’s one of the only things that she makes really well. And it was. It fell apart beautifully as she sliced it, and was juicy and totally delicious. I was intrigued. As I began to research how to make it on my own, I was actually surprised at how easy it was. You basically throw it all in a pot and call it done. But for me, it’s all about the sauce that comes with it. Simmering together with the meat for a few hours produces a really rich and flavorful sauce that is so good you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. If you have leftovers, try it in the brisket quesadilla or pasta with brisket ragu.

beef brisket | photo by: Cassandra Birocco

1 1/2 pounds beef brisket
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 carrot, peeled and cut in large dice
1 celery stalk, cut in large dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper. In a large oven-safe pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear brisket until a nice golden brown crust forms on both sides. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, wine, tomatoes, parsley, rosemary and bay leaf to pan and cover. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours, basting every hour with pan juices, until beef is fork tender.
3. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and allow to rest, covered with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig and bay leaf and discard.
4. Slice brisket across grain and serve with warmed vegetables and sauce.

Serves 2-3.

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