Braised Brisket Recipe with Red Wine and Honey

This braised brisket is sweet and tangy and fall-apart tender and so perfect it makes us go weak in the knees.

Braised Brisket Recipe

Braised brisket is the Proustian madeleine of Jewish cooking, claims cookbook author Leah Koenig. While there’s no question that the braised brisket your bubbe made was the best brisket ever, this recipe is about to become your next favorite brisket. It’s slowly roasted with red wine and honey until its suffused through and through with a sweet and tangy loveliness. (Did you just go weak in the knees? We did.)–Renee Schettler Rossi

What Is Second-Cut Brisket?

This recipe calls for second-cut brisket, sometimes referred to as deckle. Second-cut brisket is fattier and richer than first-cut brisket with more of a short rib taste and texture. It can be tricky to find in grocery stores (except maybe in Texas), so you may need to special order it from your butcher. If all you can find is first-cut brisket, which is typically labeled simply “brisket,” go ahead and use it. The recipe will still turn out delicious.

Braised Brisket Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 5 H
  • Serves 8 to 10


  • 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kilograms) brisket, preferably second-cut
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, halved through the roots and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (95 grams) honey
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Generously season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper.
  • 2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot set over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. (If the brisket does not fit all at once, cut it in half and sear it in batches.)
  • 3. Remove the brisket from the pot and set aside on a cutting board. Add the onions, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot, then pour in 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of the wine and the vinegar. Cook, stirring often, until the onions soften slightly and the mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • 4. Whisk together the remaining 1 cup (240 milliliters) wine, honey, onion powder, garlic powder, stock, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until fully combined. If you used a Dutch oven, lay the brisket on top of the onions and pour the wine mixture over the top. Cover and transfer to the oven. If you used a pot, transfer the onion mixture to a roasting pan and top with the brisket. Pour the wine mixture over the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven.
  • 5. Cook the brisket for 2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover, and carefully flip the meat. Cover and continue to roast until the meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours more, depending on the size of your brisket.
  • 6. Remove from the oven and transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Locate the thin lines running in one direction along the brisket and use a sharp knife to cut thin slices perpendicular to those lines.
  • 7. Meanwhile, remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the cooking liquid. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions and arrange them around the sliced brisket. Spoon the desired amount of pan juices over the brisket. Serve hot.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

Apr 09, 2016

If this braised brisket recipe had a tagline, it would be "A brisket worth the tears." Yes, your eyes will get very watery thinly slicing all those onions, but boy, is this delicious roast worth it. It's beefy, robust, and full of lovely savory flavors. All that is very well balanced with the deep flavor of the caramelized onions and the sweet and savory of red wine and honey. It's a special occasion roast but is very simple to make. Another benefit is that the kitchen smells heavenly as the brisket slowly bakes. I live in Texas, so I had no problem buying a prime grade full brisket. I trimmed it and cut off the deckle to use. I froze the rest. The brisket chunk did fit in my oval shaped Le Creuset Dutch oven, but a bit too snugly, so I didn't sear it in there. I also didn't want to cut the brisket in half, so I ended up searing it in a large heavy skillet that was big enough. I transferred the brisket to the Dutch oven and deglazed the skillet with some of the stock so as not to lose the browned stuck bits and added that to the Dutch oven. I took it out 2 hours after flipping it (total cooking time 4 hours), and it was maybe a touch too tender. I would start checking on it 1 hour after flipping it to see if it's done. I highly recommend cooking the brisket a day before serving and refrigerating it. That was what I did, and it was easier to remove the layer of fat, and the brisket tasted and sliced so much better.

Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Apr 09, 2016

This recipe is pretty much a basic braised brisket. The flavors are rich, deep, and complex. I wasn't sure I'd have the time to prep and cook the recipe all in one day, so I seared the brisket and sautéed the onions a day in advance. I left my Le Creuset Dutch oven in the refrigerator overnight and then brought the meat and onions to room temperature, poured the wine mixture on top, and transferred the pot to the oven. I knew I had a taster who wouldn't want the onions, so I strained the pan juices and served the onions and the juices separately. The juices were a nice consistency, so I didn't feel it was necessary to reduce them.

Testers Choice
Anna Scott

Apr 09, 2016

When I have the time to slowly cook a nice piece of meat like a brisket, pot roast, veal shank, you name it, I jump on the opportunity. The low heat and length of time that these cuts cook for ensure a fork-tender, fall-apart piece of meat that also creates its own decadent sauce. This braised brisket recipe was no exception. In terms of the recipe itself, I couldn't find a second-cut brisket, but the recipe worked wonderfully with first-cut. I had some homemade chicken stock in the fridge, so that's what I used. I browned the brisket for 5 minutes on each side, which ensured a nice sear on the meat. I cooked my brisket in a Dutch oven, so I placed the brisket on top of the onions and poured the wine mixture over the meat before covering and roasting it. I roasted the meat for 2 hours to start, turned it over, and cooked it for 2 more hours. It was perfectly cooked by then. In fact, I barely had to cut the brisket after 4 hours of cooking—when I touched it with a knife, it just fell apart. Now that's what I call a perfectly cooked brisket! The flavor of the honey, balsamic, and red wine was divine and made for a lovely sauce coating the meat and onions. What a perfect Sunday dinner this braised brisket was! Mashed potatoes and your favorite green vegetable would be great sides for this dish. Yum!

Testers Choice
Rashmi Primlani

Apr 09, 2016

The aroma enveloping my entire house while this red wine and honey brisket was in the oven was intoxicating. And the caramelized onions with wine reduction were just gilding the lily. I made truffle mashed potatoes to complement the brisket. Adding cut Idaho potatoes and root vegetables to the brisket would render a simple yet satisfying meal. I can only imagine how ridiculously tasty the potatoes would be after caramelizing and basking in the juices. The bottom of the brisket that was sitting on the onion mixture remained moist, but the top hardened and became chewy. Overall, the brisket did fall apart, but after 4 hours of cooking, there were no juices left to baste the brisket with before serving. Perhaps adding 1 cup more of stock would eliminate the issue?

  1. Maxine R. says:

    I made this yesterday and it was truly wonderful. I might have been a little generous with the honey (maybe closer to 1/2 cup) and I know I was generous with the homemade chicken broth. I put in closer to 3 cups because gravy is, in my opinion, the best part of any beef dish. Both my husband and I just kept eating and making groaning noises. There’s just the two of us so there’s quite a bit left over. We did as one of the testers recommended and served it with mashed potatoes. The onions were terrific. I used one really large onion and two medium. Next time I will use four large ones–they were that good. We’re going to have some good sandwiches during the week this week and I’m going to take part of it to my Mom to enjoy. It’s definitely a keeper of a recipe. One other note on this recipe—4 pounds of brisket bought at Costco cost us $27. So while this tastes wonderful, I will consider this an “investment” recipe and maybe save it for when we have company.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Maxine, how lovely to hear. Love that you tweaked the recipe to make it your own. And yes, something of an investment, although if you break the cost down by serving, it’s one of those things that I consider a worthy albeit occasional splurge even if just for my husband and me. Many thanks for taking the time to let us know how well it worked!

  2. Cathy O'Connell says:

    This sounds fantastic. Any thoughts on finishing it in a slow cooker instead of the oven? Seems to me it would work well.


    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Cathy, I’ve reached out to our testers to see if they have tried adapting this to a slow cooker but I bet it would be great. I would aim for 6 to 8 hours on low, or until it is falling apart tender. Let us know if you make it!

    • Elie Nassar says:

      I’d agree with Beth, about 8 hours on low sounds right. I would probably reduce the stock and wine as well to 1/2 cup each when mixing together since slow cookers tend to allow for little if any evaporation.

  3. Beth S says:

    Made this today for our family Seder and it was delicious. My oven doesn’t hold a consistent temperature long enough so I took the risk of making it in the slow cooker and it worked perfectly. I also don’t cook with wine (allergies), so substituted a mix of cran-raspberry juice and balsamic vinegar. At the suggestion above, I reduced the “wine” and broth to 1/2 cup each at the end of the recipe. There was a lot of broth to pass around, but it worked. I browned the meat and onions last night then poured in the broth/wine this morning and cooked for 6 hours on high. When it was just the right level of tender to slice, I reduced it to warm and removed most of the broth to separate the fat. I let the meat rest while staying warm with the onions in the crock pot. At serving time we passed the reheated broth over the sliced brisket and it was delicious. Easiest brisket I ever made. My new go-to recipe. Thanks!!

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