Our Edna Lewis oven brisket recipe is a classic. It’s an eminently affordable Sunday supper made with a bare minimum of ingredients—essentially just brisket, onions, and love.
Edna Lewis was well known and loved for many reasons. Her spare prose. Her soulful recipes. Her kitchen frugality. Her endless wisdom—and not just as it pertains to culinary matters. All these attributes come together in this oven brisket recipe flavored simply with onions and pan drippings. Ms. Lewis relied on brisket as opposed to other cuts of meat as it possesses “a bit more taste than some of the other more expensive, better-known cuts.”. She suggests you use whatever size brisket is available “so long as you purchase half as many onions as beef.”–Renee Schettler
How To Trust Your Inner Edna Lewis
This recipe was originally written entirely in Edna’s inimitably charming, albeit rather spare, style. What we mean is there was a certain amount of knowledge she assumed on the part of the home cook—namely specific temperatures and timings and seasonings. Understandably. Back in her day, cooking was done by instinct, a knowing that came with practice. Anticipating a little confusion in today’s home kitchen, we snuck in a few specifics here and there. Still, there are places that allow for the cook’s discretion. Embrace it.
Edna Lewis Oven Brisket
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 2 H, 45 M
- Serves 6
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
Wipe the skillet clean and then add the butter or oil and onions and return to medium-highish heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pretty well browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the brisket with pepper and then add the browned onions, allspice, and bay. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 225°F (107°C) and let cook, undisturbed, for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board to rest. Reserve the pan juices in the skillet.
Spoon off any visible fat from surface of the juices and discard the bay leaf. Spoon the onions into a sieve or strainer, place it over the pan juices, and press the onions through the sieve, discarding any solids. If desired, strain again and reduce over medium heat for a few minutes. Taste and season the pan juices with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the brisket and serve with the pan juices. Originally published April 21, 2011.