Braised Brisket of Beef

In a way, this recipe pays homage to my mother and her holiday braise. In another, it says I have wandered far from my Eastern European roots. Sure, the black radishes, parsnips, and mushrooms hearken back to my younger days. But the use of the chipotle chili and quince offer a hybridization of flavor. The chipotle is a dried, smoked jalapeño that is incendiary. It’s available dried or in cans slathered in a tomato sauce (adobo sauce). Whichever one you find will work in this recipe.–Richard Ruben

LC Brisket Note

Don’t try to substitute your usual pot roast cut of beef. This recipe is geared specifically for the relatively flat cut of meat that must be coaxed to supple seductiveness.

Braised Brisket of Beef Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pound brisket of beef, trimmed well of excess fat and sinew
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound black radishes, peeled and julienned (see Note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 small parsnips, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 quince, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, stems discarded and quartered
  • 2 chipotles, left whole
  • 3/4 cup seltzer water
  • 5 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and quartered
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • 2. Heat a 9-quart casserole or Dutch oven wide enough to fit the brisket laying down flat over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Place the brisket fattier side down in the pan and sear until it’s deep brown on that side, 4 to 5 minutes. (No oil is needed, since the fat on the brisket should be sufficient. However, if you cut away the entire fat cap, add about 1/8 cup olive oil to the pan before adding the brisket.) Flip the brisket and sear the other side. Transfer the brisket to a platter. Add the onions, radishes, and garlic to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then return the brisket to the pan on top of the onion mixture. Add the celery, parsnips, quince, mushrooms, chipotles, and seltzer. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil, place the brisket in the oven, and cook for 1 hour.
  • 3. After 1 hour, flip the brisket and add the quartered tomatoes. Cover the dish again and place it back in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer.
  • 4. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Don’t slice the brisket for at least 30 minutes after removing it from the oven. This will allow the juices to relax back into the meat. In the meantime, return the casserole to the stove top over medium heat and add the Italian parsley to the braising juices and vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid to the desired consistency to concentrate the flavors, skimming any fat from the surface of the juices, if desired. Remove the chipotles and discard. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Slice the brisket against the grain of the meat and place on a platter. Spoon the reduced juices and vegetables on top. Serve immediately.

Note

  • The black radish used in this recipe is also known as a winter radish. It has a black skin and mild-tasting white flesh. I like to slice it very thinly and drizzle it with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to serve as an appetizer. I grew up eating it, grated and tossed with warm rendered chicken fat, which then garnished a smear of chopped liver.
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