A Brisket for Your Thoughts

braising ingredients

Alright kiddos – it’s time to get that heavy-ass oven-proof pot from your cabinet right now. I mean it. It’s the last day before that glorious thing we call the weekend, and I want your weekend to be just as freakin’ delightful as my last weekend was [I mean food-wise here; my friend got robbed which was not delightful by any stretch of the imagination]. Not that this coming weekend won’t be fun for me, with the Iron Chef battle around the corner (I am bringing my A game this time), but last weekend I made a fortnight’s worth of food, including what will now unfold before your very eyes.

Beef Freakin’ Brisket.

beginning braise

And that picture of oatmeal stout is no mirage. This 22 oz bottle o’ stout serves two purposes for those of you willing and able to consume it (gluten free’ers – sub some g-free Redbridge or, if you can get your hands on the British beer Greens, get Endeavor) and keep right on chuggin’ – literally) – for one it’s going to impart loads of flavor into an otherwise tired slab of beef and two, you’re going to drink the rest of it while your beef cooks itself (yes – magic!) in your oven. How’s that for layering flavors?! And if you’re smart (c’mon – I know you are), you’ll buy a second deuce-deuce (ha – so ghetto!!) to partake in at dinner.

Because dinner, brisket style, is another day away…

ready to chill

But believe-you-me, there is no need to whine about that. I’m about 80 posts deep in this thing called a food blog and you are bound to find something on this here site to make for Saturday’s dinner while this bundle of pure delight morphs its’ way into something so remarkable you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life – sorta like the way you felt when you met your man-or-lady-friend or maybe when you took that first bite of a pumpkin cupcake or maybe instead a thick juicy burger loaded with the best bbq sauce since sliced bread. (Well, the best bbq sauce besides Eastern NC bbq sauce, but let’s not get too technical here.)

Are you hungry yet? Fumble through these recipes and find yourself something for Saturday, and please for the love of whatever it is you might pray to, make this brisket on Saturday for Sunday night. I promise – you will win some mad points from whomever you choose to share this with. And if you want it all to yourself, the leftovers are as tasty as the day is long.

stout-braised brisket

Have I mentioned that I finally managed to get all the recipes on here into printable format? Yeah… I’m awesome. Thanks. Really – you have no excuse unless your printer is out of ink, which ours always seems to be. But don’t use your own ink anyway – print these babies out at work since that’s probably where you’ll be when you’re reading this. C’mon – we all do it – fess up and move on🙂.

And please don’t go getting all frantic when you see the recipe. It’s sorta long, but there really is minimal work involved and I swear it’s worth waiting for. I also promise you that you want to wait for it and you absolutely. positively. do. not. want to eat this the day you make it. There’s something about this brisket, braised in stout and other lovely things, that begs to rest just for a bit. I know because I snuck a taste on Saturday and tucked the memory of the taste into my pensieve. On Sunday, I extracted the golden strand of said memory and I compared it to Sunday’s taste. No contest.

braised brisket and jus

Stout-Braised Beef Brisket
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2009; serves 6

The original recipe calls for twice the amount of brisket, but I know 12 servings would not work for 2 people, so I bought half the size. I did, however, keep the spice rub and everything else the same, so if you wanted to make this for 12 go right ahead and double your beef but keep the rest the same.

printable recipe

1 T kosher salt
2 T fresh-ground black pepper
2 t dry mustard
2 t chopped fresh sage
2 t chopped fresh thyme
1 3-lb brisket, trimmed with some fat remaining
2 T olive oil
4 c chicken broth, low sodium
12 oz of stout (or Redbridge if g-free)
6 whole pitted prunes
4 bay leaves
2 t packed dark brown sugar
6 c thinly sliced onions (2.5 lbs)
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1.5″ lengths
2 T whole grain Dijon mustard
2 T malt vinegar (or apple cider for g-free)


  1. position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and rub mixture all over brisket. heat olive oil in heavy extra large oven-proof pot (think – dutch oven) over medium heat. add brisket to pot and cook until deep brown, about 5 minutes per side. transfer to platter or rimmed baking sheet. add 2 c broth to pot and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. stir in beer through brown sugar; bring to boil. return brisket to pot, fat side down; scatter onion slices over to cover meat, then add garlic.
  2. cover pot; place in oven and braise 1 hour. remove pot from oven; uncover and turn brisket over so that onion slices fall into liquid. return pot to oven and braise uncovered for 30 minutes. add 1 c broth; cover and bake 1 hour 30 minutes longer.
  3. transfer brisket to platter or baking sheet; add 1 more cup of broth to liquid, then add mushrooms and carrots. return brisket to pot. cover and return to oven; braise until meat and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes longer. cool slightly. refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled 1 day (up to 2 days).
  4. preheat oven to 350 F. spoon off any fat that’s settled overnight. transfer brisket to cutting board and thinly slice brisket across the grain. if you have a roasting pan, put the brisket slices in that. if not set the brisket asidefor now. meanwhile bring remaining juice and veggies to a boil and whisk in mustard and vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. if using a roasting pan, pour juice over brisket slices and cover roasting pan tightly with foil. if you don’t have a roasting pan (i don’t have one small enough – just one for turkey!), put the brisket back in the pot with liquid and veggies, nestling them in the liquid and cover. cook about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4 thoughts on “A Brisket for Your Thoughts

  1. Jim-49 says:

    This looks so good!! I have been around some great roast dinners,but for some reasons,I’ve stayed away from them,I just may try this soon!! I usually make 2 meals a day,an make cakes,cookies and pastry,about 4/5 times a week.My bunch,hardly goes for left overs,and the grandkids,and myself,don’t really go for a sandwich at all.But,I love a good roast,hot biscuits,and coldslaw!! This would be a great,cold day supper,with the fire going!! Great pictures,and site!!

  2. @Jim – thanks for reading! You seem to be a very busy cook for a huge crowd🙂

    @Jenn – thanks for the cheering on – you should really come sometime! and no, lunch is never as good unless it’s leftovers from a tasty dinner🙂

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