Many years ago, I got so tired of cooking the same food night after night, that I threw caution to the wind and made a brisket. My kids wouldn't even try it and complained about the smell in the house--seriously, I think I had to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies just to get them to stop whining about the "stink". My husband and I spent a week eating that brisket and I never tried it again...until now, and with great trepidation. But my fears were needless, because 1) people have grown up now and are far more adventurous eaters and 2) this recipe is plain old fantastic!!
This is the kind of food you start craving when the weather turns cold and blustery and while it cooks for several hours there's not a whole lot of hands-on work. Start this in the morning or on a weekend when you have some time---just not at 6:00 p.m. on a random night because you were too lazy to read the recipe through and didn't see that it had to cook for at least 5 hours--seriously I was up long past midnight with this one--but the results were so good that I almost didn't mind.
You start by browning the meat in a little oil on top of the stove and then transferring it to a baking dish where it will braise for several hours.
Then you cook up a lot of onions and mushrooms--
Add all in all the rest of the ingredients, pour them all over the browned meat, cover it tightly with foil and bake it for 4 1/2 -5 hours until the meat is fall-apart tender and covered with a delicious gravy.
The original recipe calls for you to slice and serve the meat immediately, but I think things like this improve with sitting in the fridge for a day (plus you can skim off any fat) so I chilled it, then sliced it up and reheated it for dinner the following night.
Looks kinda messy, I know, but it was tender and juicy and wonderful with mashed potatoes to soak up all that gravy! And guess what, no one complained (at least not about the brisket)!
Mushroom Braised Brisket
Prep Time: 45 minutes: Bake Time: 5 hours
- 2-3 pounds flat brisket, fat trimmed
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 oz. mushrooms, any kind (I used baby bella)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup beef broth)
- 2 bay leaves
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and prick it all over with a fork. Cut the brisket in half crosswise into two smaller pieces and season each piece with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, (non-stick if you have it) heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Brown one piece of the brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side. Place fat side up in a 9x13 inch baking dish and repeat with second piece.
3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan (I didn't really have much more than one anyway) and add mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook over medium high heat until the mushrooms turn golden brown and the liquid evaporates, about 6-8 minutes. Add the onion and the brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the flour and garlic and cook stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth and bay leaves, scraping up any browned bits along the way. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 7-8 minutes longer.
4. Pour the sauce over the roasts in the pan and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven until very tender, 4 1/2-5 hours. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool, covered, flipping the roasts once through the cooling process.
5. You can now either transfer the brisket to a cutting board and serve or refrigerate it in a covered container till the next day. If you choose to wait and chill it, remove it from the fridge, scoop off any additional fat and then transfer to the cutting board.
6. Slice the meat on the diagonal, put into a baking dish, spoon the gravy over it and reheat covered with foil in a 300ºF oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot.
7. Serve with some type of starch that absorbs the gravy--delish! Brisket will keep for up to a week, covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: Recipe adapted with a few changes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, www.melskitchencafe.com