I honestly can’t remember the last time I made a brisket, before I made one for this post, anyway. It’s just not something I get excited about, surprisingly enough. Don’t get me wrong, if someone makes a tasty brisket and it happens to wind up in front of me, I will eat the heck out of it. It’s delicious. But it’s not something I often buy with plans to make during the week.
But it’s almost Passover, and I can’t imagine this nice Jewish girl not having a proper Passover recipe round-up, complete with a brisket for the center of the table. Your table, anyway, cause we have lamb chops at ours. If my mom dared leave her famous lamb chops off the menu, I guarantee there would some kind of mutiny. Even my borderline vegetarian cousin has been known to throw a punch when she feels her lamb chop quota being threatened by the other guests. (I might be exaggerating, but the look in her eye suggests just barely)
And besides, this brisket is freaking delicious, and has made the cut into the regular rotation.
Like any braised recipe, it’s best when eaten the next day.
And then we braise.
For maximum brisket enjoyment, make this the day before you plan to eat it. Once it’s cooked and slightly cooled, slice it and put it back in the braising liquid until you’re ready to eat it.
French Onion Brisket with Porcini MushroomsNote: If you have a pot big enough to fit the brisket and vegetables that you can also sear in, use that for the entire recipe. If not, it’s fine to sear the brisket and brown the onions in a separate pot before transferring it to a large oven safe dish.
5-6 pounds brisket, preferably grass-fed
5 large onions, sliced thin
3-4 large carrots, whole or sliced lengthwise
12-15 fresh crimini mushrooms, whole, stemmed
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 heaping cup)
6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tallow, coconut oil, duck fat, or preferred fat
- Preheat oven to 300˚.
- Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes, or until you’re ready to add them to the brisket.
- Pat the brisket dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Place a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and melt the fat. Add the brisket and sear for three minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and brush with tomato paste on both sides.
- Add the onions to the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Saute them for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and soft.
- Strain the mushrooms in a strainer lined with a cheesecloth, reserving the liquid they were in.
- Once the onions are golden brown, add the carrots, then the brisket, then the garlic, mushrooms and the liquid from the mushrooms.
- Cover tightly and put in the oven for at least two hours, turning after one hour, and checking after two. If it still needs time, cook for half hour intervals until it’s tender. The cook time depends a lot on the meat, so you’ll have to use your intuition to a degree on this one. You want the meat to be fork tender, but it should still be able to be sliced, as opposed to falling apart. My brisket was small, under two pounds, and it took two hours.
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