Mom’s Brisket

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil Crock

My 200th Post! CUE THE BALLOONS!

I wanted to do something special for this post, and while my mom prefers palindromic numbers – like 202 or 222 – to round numbers, I am hopeful she will forgive me and be honored anyway.

I present to you: My Mom’s Brisket.

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil CrockThis recipe is one of the very few I can shop for and make without notes – it’s that easy and I make it that often. This recipe is a staple for my family’s Passover Seders, including last year’s when I was FINALLY allowed to host a family holiday! Growing up we really only had brisket for Passover, but I make it more often – it is a great dish to serve meat-eating company. Your guests will think you were slaving away all day; SPOILER ALERT, you will not be slaving away all day.

There is more than one way to braise a brisket, but this is my good ol’ standby method. One thing I love about brisket, which I mention more than infrequently, is that it is cooked the day before you want to serve it, so the mess is cleaned up and you are available to make a side dish or two while the main event reheats in the oven.

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil Crock

Lay heavy-duty aluminum foil (which is thicker and wider than regular foil), in a large roasting pan or dutch oven, and lay sliced rings from 2 onions (I use sweet onions) on the foil. It doesn’t matter what the cooking vessel is as long as it is meant to go in the oven. Despite your best efforts, the foil may leak, so you may want to pick something with high sides.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

Place the brisket, fat-side up, on the onions. Sprinkle with the brown sugar.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

Add ketchup, and salt and pepper. If it’s Passover and your ketchup isn’t cutting it for you, you can use tomato sauce. I once used a jar of home-canned crushed tomatoes (thanks, TWB!) – anything like that works.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

Not pictured: Add the water at this time too. The water will magically turn into gravy.

Seal up the foil, totally enclosing the brisket, onions, and water.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

Really tight.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

This looks like it was from a fun day in my kitchen … dueling briskets at 325 for 4 hours.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

In non-photo-worthy news, when the brisket is done, be very careful opening the foil – it will be very steamy inside. Separate the meat from the onions and gravy and wrap the meat tightly in new foil. Transfer the onions and gravy to another container – I use a sterilite plastic pitcher – and refrigerate the meat and the container.

The next day, scoop the fat off the top of the gravy, and carefully remove the fat from the top of the brisket. You can leave it, if you want, but then you will have fat on every piece. Not my speed.

Once the fat is removed, slice the meat thinly against the grain. I use a sharp chef’s knife for this.

This picture is from a different recipe, where the meat was seared, but I am using it just to illustrate the “grain.”

Cut Against the Grain by My Utensil Crock

Transfer that sliced brisket to a casserole dish, and top it with the gravy and onions, for reheating.

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil Crock

Is brisket the Little Black Dress of comfort food? It’s less slinky, for sure, but it’s always appropriate and goes with everything. Go-to, classic options pictured below include roasted potatoes and creamed spinach.

How to Make Brisket - a Tutorial by My Utensil Crock

Other options for sides: Twice-Baked Potatoes; Sweet Potato, Kale, and Apple Hash; Lemon & Parmesan Orzo with Kale; or Roasted Asparagus with Panko-Anchovy Topping.

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil Crock

 

Mom's Brisket
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make this brisket on a Sunday and enjoy it for dinner or lunch during the week, or serve for a meat & potatoes dinner party. The brisket is braised for 4 hours and then the meat and gravy are refrigerated overnight. A great winter dish ... spring, summer, and fall too!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Comfort Food, Meat
Serves: 2 dinner servings and some leftovers
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet onions, cut into rings
  • 2.5 lb brisket (ask for "flat cut" or "first cut")
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • ketchup or tomato sauce {enough for a light coating on the meat, about ¼ c ketchup or 8 oz tomato sauce}
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 c water
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Lay out heavy duty aluminum foil in heavy roasting pan, large dutch oven, or large oven-safe pot. You may want to lay out two pieces, perpendicular to each other, to make sure you will be able to seal it all in when you're done.
  3. Layer the onion rings at the bottom of the foil.
  4. Lay the brisket, fat-side up, on the onions.
  5. Add brown sugar, ketchup, and salt & pepper to taste. Pour the water in; I like to do this at the bottom, by the onions, but it will braise for so long that the flavors will all permeate the meat regardless.
  6. Wrap tightly in foil, pinching and crimping to seal the foil.
  7. Bake 3.5 to 4 hours (or more - it will just get more tender). When you pull at the meat with a fork, it should easily separate.
  8. Remove from the oven.
  9. Lay a new piece of aluminum foil on the counter. Place the slab of meat on the foil. Tightly wrap the meat in the foil, and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Carefully transfer the gravy and onions to a separate container, like a pitcher with a snap-tight lid. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. The next day, trim the fat off the top of the brisket and discard it. Slice the brisket into thin pieces, against the grain. Skim the fat off the top of the gravy and discard.
  12. Transfer the brisket slices to a casserole dish and top with the gravy and onions.
  13. Heat at 300 until heated through - leave at least 30 min for this step.
Notes
When buying brisket, estimate one pound per person - that will be enough for everyone, and will also leave you a bit of leftovers.

Mom's Brisket by My Utensil Crock

 

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