MY NEW FAVORITE BRISKET RECIPE
1 large head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 pounds beef brisket (preferably the 2nd cut also called the point cut)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups dry red wine (a whole bottle to you and me)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 jar Saucy Susan (see Note)
3 dried bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Roast the garlic: Slice off the top of the garlic head so that all the cloves are exposed. Place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil, and pour 1 tablespoon oil over the exposed cloves. Twist the foil tight, and roast for 40 minutes. Open the foil and let the garlic cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F.
3. Meanwhile, sprinkle brisket on both sides with salt and pepper and liberally with the flour, shaking off any excess.
4. Heat the oil in a large covered casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the brisket and sear, turning often, until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
5. Transfer to a plate or platter and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (I usually have nothing to pour off.) Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring often, until golden, about 10
6. Pour in the wine and stir to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole. Stir in the tomato paste, onion soup mix, Saucy Susan and add the bay leaves and thyme. Squeeze the garlic into the pot.
7. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring often, for a minute or two. Pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the brisket. Cover tightly with a piece of foil, then cover the pot with the lid. Transfer to the lower third of the oven and cook until the meat is firm but not quite done (about 3 hours).
8. Remove pot from oven. Transfer meat to a cutting board and allow to cool 15 minutes.
9. Meanwhile remove and discard the bay leaves. With a slotted spoon or small strainer, transfer about 3/4 of the onions and any chunks of garlic into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture back
into the pot. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
10. Slice the meat. Transfer slices back to the pot and continue cooking until tender (about 1 hour longer).
11. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove as much fat as possible. Reheat and serve.
Note: Saucy Susan is a spicy peach-apricot sauce with an Asian flavor. If you can’t find it, substitute with 1/2 cup duck sauce. I’ve even used homemade preserves in a pinch.