Braised Brisket with Red Wine and Tomatoes
Serving Size / Yield
- 1 flat-cut beef brisket (4 to 5 lb.), trimmed of excess fat Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 C. dry red wine
- 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
Set the oven at 325 degrees. Have on hand a 6-quart Dutch oven or another heavy, flame-proof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Sprinkle the brisket all over with salt and pepper. In the pot, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket for about 5 minutes on a side. Transfer the meat to a plate. Lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil. Cook the onions, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until golden. Stir in the celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, thyme, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan. Place the meat, fat side up, on top of the vegetables. Cover with the lid.
Transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 3 1/2 hours or until a fork inserted into the meat slides out easily. Remove the cover and cool the brisket in the pan. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. To serve: Set the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the meat from the sauce. Slice it thinly against the grain. Discard the fat from the sauce. Use a ladle to remove some of the vegetables and sauce from the pot. In a food processor, work the mixture until smooth; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with more vegetables, leaving some of the vegetables whole if you want a chunkier sauce. Return the puree to the pot and stir well to blend it with the juices in the pan. Arrange the meat in a baking dish. Spoon 2 cups of the sauce on top.
Cover with foil and reheat for 30 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, bring the remaining sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Pour into a gravy boat and pass separately with the meat.
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