Boozy Beef: Red Wine-Braised Brisket
Red Wine-Braised Brisket
A relatively cheap cut of beef that comes from the breast section under the first five ribs, brisket is very flavorful and versatile—great in soup, pastrami or Texas BBQ—but requires long, slow cooking.
This recipe comes from my friend Judith, a very good cook, and in it, the beef gets marinated overnight in a fragrant spice mixture, and then leisurely braised in just red wine (Judith is French).
I served the brisket with roasted spring vegetables: new potatoes, baby carrots and zucchini, as well as apples, based on Judith’s recommendation. Toss everything with good olive oil, salt, pepper, finely chopped fresh rosemary and parsley, and bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees until soft.
- Serves 4–6
- 4 pounds brisket
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup corned beef spice (store-bought, or see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bottle red wine
- Wash the brisket and tap it dry with paper towels. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle the spices and salt all over, and gently press them into the brisket on all sides. Place it in a large bowl or on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for minimum 8 hours or overnight.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket (with the spices still on) on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a Dutch oven or large stockpot. Pour the wine into the pot (the brisket will not be fully submerged), cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to very low and cook on the stovetop, turning the meat once halfway through, for 3½ hours.
- Remove the brisket from the braising liquid and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. Discard the liquid. Alternatively, let the brisket cool in the braising liquid and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove it from the liquid, and slice. Steam the slices in a steamer over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes, and serve.
Brisket Spice Mixture
- Yields about 1 cup
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon star anise, broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon ground mace
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 4 dried bay leaves, broken into small pieces
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Dry-toast the black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, star anise and allspice berries—shaking the skillet frequently and being careful not to burn the spices—until fragrant, about 4–5 minutes. Cover the skillet with a lid when the spices start popping.
- Transfer to a mortar and pestle, and grind until pulverized. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, place the spices in a plastic bag and pulverize with a rolling pin or other heavy object (wine bottle, stone, etc.).
- Mix with the rest of the spices. Store in a tightly sealed container.
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