Fail-Proof Braised Brisket

Are you new to cooking brisket? If so, we recommend that you try out this fail-proof brisket recipe. For the wine pairing, we recommend that you use the wine that you used to cook the brisket in, such as Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy! 


  • 1, 4-5 lb KOL Foods grass-fed Packer cut or 1st cut brisket
  • Oil
  • 3 large onions, about 2.5 lbs., halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and minced
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1/8 t cayenne (for a spicy sauce use 1/4 t)
  • 2 T arrow root, flour or other thickener
  • 1 c KOL Foods beef, chicken or poultry broth
  • 1 c dry red wine such as Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 T cider vinegar

1. Adjust over rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Line 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 24-inch long sheets of 18-inch-wide heavy-duty foil, positioning sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing excess foil to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Rinse brisket under cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Place brisket fat side up on a cutting board; using a dinner fork, poke holes in meat through fat layer about 1 inch apart. Season both sides of brisket liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 1 t oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil just begins to smoke. Place brisket fat side up in skillet (brisket may climb up sides of skillet); place a heavy dutch oven, cast iron skillet or pot on brisket and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove dutch oven; using tongs, flip brisket and cook second side without weight until browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer brisket to platter.

3. Pour off all but 1 T of fat from pan (you may need to add some oil so that there is 1 T in pan); stir in onions, sugar, and 1/4 t salt and cook over medium-heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and golden, 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently until for about 1 minute; add tomato paste and cook, stirring to combine, until paste darkens, about 2 minutes. Add paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Sprinkle arrow root over onions and cook, stirring constantly, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add broth, wine, bay leaf, and thyme, stirring to scrap up all the brown bits from the pan; bring to a simmer and simmer about 5 minute to fully thicken.

4. Pour sauce and onions into foil-lined baking dish. Nestle brisket, fat side up, in sauce and onions. Fold foil extensions over and seal (do not tightly crimp foil because foil must later be opened to test for doneness). Place in oven and cook until fork can be inserted into and removed from center with no resistance, 3.5-4 hours (when testing doneness, open foil with caution as contents will be steaming). Carefully open foil and let brisket cool at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

5. Transfer brisket to large bowl; set mesh strainer over bowl and strain sauce over brisket. Discard bay and thyme from onions and transfer onions to a small bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap, cut vents in plastic with a pairing knife, and refrigerate over night.

6. About 45 minutes before serving, adjust oven rack to lower middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. While oven heats, transfer cold brisket to a cutting board. Scrape off and discard any congealed fat from the sauce, then transfer sauce to medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until warm, skimming any fat on the surface. You should have two cups of sauce without onions. If necessary, simmer sauce over medium-high heat until it is reduced to 2 cups. While sauce heats, slice brisket against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices, trimming and discarding ant excess fat, if desired; place slices in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. stir reserved onions and vinegar into warmed sauce and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over brisket slices, cover baking dish with foil, and bake until heated through, 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: If you would like to make and serve the brisket the same day, after removing the brisket from the oven in step 4, reseal the foil and let the brisket stand at room temperature for an hour. Then transfer the brisket to a cutting board and continue with the recipe to strain, defat, and reheat the sauce and slice meat; because the brisket will still be hot, there will be no need to put it back into the oven once the reheated sauce is poured over it.

Serves 8-10