Cabernet-Braised Brisket with Garlic
Recipe type: Main
Serves: ~ 1 person per pound
This brisket is cooked in two stages: 1) on the stove top (about an hour), and 2) in the oven (at least 3 hours). I recommend letting it cool at least 6 hours or overnight, so try cooking it over the weekend for a satisfying weeknight meal.
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • ½ t ground black pepper
  • 3 lb flat cut (first cut) brisket {or about 1 lb per person}
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 c cabernet sauvignon {or other dry red wine}
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 4 c chicken broth or stock (boxed or home made)
Prepare the Garlic:
  1. Fill a small saucepan with water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Prepare a small bowl filled with ice water.
  3. Add the garlic cloves and cook at a rapid boil for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is slightly softened.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a bowl of ice water and peel when cool enough to handle.
Cook the Brisket on the Stove Top:
  1. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the brisket.
  2. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
  3. Add the brisket and sear, turning often, until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer the brisket to a plate or platter, but leave the fat that has been rendered in the pot. Leave the pot on the stove, and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Add the onions and the peeled garlic to the pot.
  6. Sauté, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour in the wine, a little at a time, and stir to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  8. Stir in the tomato paste, and add the bay leaves and thyme.
  9. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  10. Cook rapidly, stirring often, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the remaining mixture has thickened. This may take a half hour or more. {This is called "reducing" the wine - because it is being reduced in volume.}
  11. While the wine is reducing, place your oven rack so the pot will be in the bottom third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325.
  12. Pour the chicken broth or stock into the pot, and bring back to a boil to incorporate the broth into the wine and onion mixture.
  13. Turn off the heat and return the brisket to the pot, fat side up, submerging it as much as possible under the liquid.
  14. Cover the open pot tightly with a piece of foil, and then cover the foil with the pot's lid.
Cook the Brisket in the Oven:
  1. Transfer the pot to the oven, and cook until the meat shreds easily when you pierce it with a fork (the meat part, not the fat part). Be really careful when removing the foil - it will be very steamy inside!
Prepping the Brisket for Slicing: This step will help you remove the fat all at once, so there isn't fat on every slice of meat
  1. Remove the brisket from the pot, and place on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Let it cool a bit, and then seal the foil tight.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight (or, two if you get distracted). Refrigerate the red wine mixture in a separate container.
  3. Once the brisket has cooled, slice the fat off, leaving only the lean meat in one piece (or more, if it is very tender).
  4. Slice or shred the meat as you like it, and cover with the red wine mixture. Heat at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce starts to bubble.
Recipe by My Utensil Crock at