We had so many exclamatory compliments on Honi’s brisket at Open Farm, we now pass it on in all of its detail — and it is a somewhat detailed recipe but worth the effort. I will add that there is no reason the same recipe could not be used for any beef roast, or pork for that matter. Try it with the roasts if your next cooler does not include a brisket. Here goes:
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) beef brisket, cut in half widthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice
- 12 medium garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes, liquid and cores discarded, tomatoes broken up by hand into large chunks
- 2 (6-inch) branches fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Place salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub brisket pieces all over with seasoning mixture; set aside.
- Place oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1 piece of brisket and cook until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the second piece of meat.
- Reduce heat to medium; add onions, garlic cloves, and sugar; and sauté until onions are softened and starting to caramelize, about 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir to coat onions, and cook until paste is no longer raw-tasting, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf, vinegar, and water and stir to incorporate. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.
- Return brisket to the pot, fat side up (it’s OK if the two pieces overlap), cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and rotate meat from bottom to top, keeping the fat side up (or fit the pieces side by side if possible). Cover, return the pot to the oven, and braise until brisket is fork tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.
- Remove brisket from the oven, uncover, and let cool in the braising liquid until the sauce is just warm, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Remove brisket to a cutting board and slice off excess fat. Using a spoon, scrape away the hardened layer of fat on the surface of the sauce. Remove the rosemary branches and bay leaf and discard. Slice the brisket against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick pieces and return the slices to the sauce. Cover the pot and place in the oven until the brisket is warmed through, about 45 minutes. Serve on a platter with the sauce either on the side or spooned over the meat.