This braised brisket with red wine and honey is sweet and tangy and fall-apart tender and so perfect it makes us go weak in the knees. And it’s a hunk of beef large enough to feed a crowd so it has that going for it, too.
Braised brisket is the Proustian madeleine of Jewish cooking. Or so cookbook author Leah Koenig. While there’s no question that the braised brisket your bubbe made was the best brisket ever, this slightly inebriated braised brisket with red wine and honey is about to become your very close second favorite brisket ever. It’s slowly suffused with red wine and honey until its sweet and tangy and meltingly tender through and through. (Did you just go weak in the knees? We did.) Originally published April 9, 2016.–Renee Schettler Rossi
What Is Second-Cut Brisket?
This recipe calls for second-cut brisket, which is sometimes referred to as deckle. Second-cut brisket is fattier and richer than first-cut brisket, with a taste and texture that’s actually more akin to that of short ribs. (Nothing wrong with that!) It can be tricky to find in grocery stores (except 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. Just ever so slightly less special than if you’d made it with second-cut. But if you don’t say anything, none of your guests will be the wiser.
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 5 H
- Serves 8 to 10
- 4 to 5 pounds brisket, preferably second-cut
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
- 3 large yellow onions (about 1 1/2 lbs), halved through the roots and thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup 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.