Braised Beef Brisket with Onions
All Phases | Serves 12 to 16 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Total time: 4 hours
- 1 brisket (about 3 to 4 pounds)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 medium onions, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- Sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place a large enameled cast-iron pot with a lid (or other heavy pot) over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle the brisket with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and then brown it on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the brisket to a platter (or a baking dish — something big with sides that will catch the juices) and set it aside.
- Add the onions to the pot.
- Cook and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot until the onions are soft and browned about 15 minutes.
- Tuck in the bay leaves.
- Place the brisket and any accumulated juices on top of the onions.
- Sprinkle the brisket with the paprika, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and another 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and add the garlic.
- Cover the pot tightly (on enameled cast-iron pots, sometimes the lid isn’t really tight; you may need to cover with foil and then the lid).
- Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and use a very sharp knife to slice the meat across the grain, about 1/8-inch thick.
- Return the slices to the pot in their original shape, overlapping at an angle (it should look like the original unsliced brisket leaning slightly backward).
- Check the seasonings.
- Spoon some of the juices over the meat. (If your pot is tightly covered, there will be plenty of liquid. If things have dried out, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of water to the pot.)
- Cover the pot tightly, lower the heat to 325 degrees, and bake until the brisket is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
- Baste once or twice during cooking.
- You can serve this immediately, but it’s even better the next day.