Beef brisket is a tasty piece of meat, but does take some time to cook it so that it becomes nice and tender. Braising it is a great way of cooking it at home when you don't have a smoker, like me. This is a recipe that I found online a few years ago and I love making it.
1 4lb beef brisket, I get mine from Master Meats in the NW
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 stalk celery, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 cups red wine
5 tbsp distilled white vinegar
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
Two to three hours before you want to cook the brisket, season it generously all over with garlic powder, pepper, paprika and a little salt. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Heat the oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the brisket and brown it on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a large plate or platter and set aside. A nice dark, hard, seared crust will give us more flavor.
Add the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic to the pan, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and nicely browned, about 12 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and sugar and stir well to coat all the vegetables. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Return the brisket to the pan, skin side up. Add the beef broth, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 1 tbsp salt and bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until the brisket is fork-tender, 3 to 3.5 hours. During this long, slow process, it's okay if the very top of the brisket pokes out of the liquid, but if the liquid levels drops much further, add some hot water to the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the brisket to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the sauce into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and skim any scum that rises to the surface.
To server, cut the brisket into thin slices against the grain and arrange on a platter, passing the sauce alongside.