Braised beef is cooked low and slow in wine for juicy, flavorful bites. Make this brisket recipe for a weeknight meal or holiday feast!
Typically I’d smoke or grill a brisket, but I’m here to say this Braised Beef Brisket is mighty tasty. After searing the beef brisket all over it’s laid on a bed of sautéed onions, carrots and celery. Garlic and thyme are added to a reduction and everything is braised to tender perfection.
Entree Definition: Braised Beef
Tender slices of meat are flavored with a rich sauce made with vegetables, herbs, and burgundy wine.
Pair this with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and warm dinner rolls for a complete meal.
What is braising?
Braising is a cooking method where meat and vegetables are cooked at low heat over a long period of time. This creates tender, melt-in-your-mouth bites that are full of flavor.
While they are essentially the same thing, slow cooking and braising have one small difference – browning.
Browning not only seals in all of the juices, but it creates complex flavor as well. It may seem like a small difference, but it makes a huge impact on the finished result!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Burgundy red wine – Choose a good quality Pinot Noir, or substitute with Merlot or Cabernet instead. A good rule to follow is to cook with a wine that you enjoy drinking.
If you want an alcohol-free option, concord grape juice works well.
- Bacon fat – This adds quite a bit of flavor, so use any substitutes with caution. If needed, lard, vegetable oil, or shortening will work in a pinch.
- Dried herbs – Because of the long cooking time, dried is better than fresh so they don’t burn. Rub the thyme between your fingers when adding to the wine to enhance the flavor and aroma.
- Beef broth – Use your favorite brand or replace with homemade stock if you prefer.
What kind of meat is brisket?
This cut of beef comes from the lower chest of the animal and is made of two overlapping muscles.
It’s usually divided into either a “point” which is the thickest section and more fatty, or the “flat” which is leaner and more uniform.
Because either tends to be tough and fibrous, it’s the perfect cut for making braised beef.
Or, you can make Smoked Brisket if you’re worried about having your oven on for several hours at a time.
How to make brisket in the oven
Give yourself plenty of time, since the meat needs to dry brine overnight before going in the oven.
If there’s a thick layer of fat along the top, carefully slice it away before brining. Remove as much as you can, but it’s fine if there’s a little bit left attached.
Then, you will need about 4 hours total to prep the vegetables, cook the brisket, and make the serving sauce.
- Dry brine: Rub seasoning all over the brisket, then cover and refrigerate at least overnight or up to 3 days. The salt brings out all the flavor and helps the meat retain moisture when cooked.
- Sear meat and cook vegetables: Everything can be done in the same roasting pan so you don’t lose any tasty bits. Plus, there will be fewer dishes to clean afterward.
- Braise: Cook for about 3 hours total or until the meat is nice and tender. Don’t keep it in too long, though, or you may end up with stew instead!
- Slice and serve: While the meat is resting, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and reduce it on the stove. Then, pour over the braised brisket slices for even more flavor.
Storage and reheating
Because the flavors will continue to mingle the longer they sit, this meal is a great make-ahead option! Or, just enjoy plenty of delicious leftovers by yourself.
Transfer to an airtight container with the braising liquid and refrigerate for up to a week. Reheat in the roasting pan at 300°F. for 30-40 minutes or until warmed through.
How to freeze braised beef
Lay the slices of meat in a large freezer bag and pour the sauce over the top. Squeeze out as much air as you can before freezing for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Keep in mind that it may take a day or two for the meat to fully defrost.
Braised Beef Brisket
- 8 lb beef flat brisket (See Note 1)
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp celery salt
- 1/4 cup bacon fat
- 2 white onions large, coarsely chopped
- 6 large carrots peeled, coarsely chopped
- 6 celery stalks coarsely chopped
- 2 cups burgundy red wine (See Note 2)
- 12 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 8 dried bay leaves
- 2 quarts beef broth
- Season trimmed brisket with kosher salt, ground pepper and celery salt, pressing to adhere on all sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate on a baking tray (to catch any drips) 3 hours, or best overnight.
- Bring brisket to room temperature. Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 275°F.
- On the stove top heat bacon fat on High in a large roasting pan set over 2 burners. Sear brisket on all sides until browned, 7–10 minutes. Transfer to a platter to rest.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the vegetables to pan. Cook until browned and just soft, about 15 minutes. Add the wine or juice, bring to a boil, and cook until almost evaporated, 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Pour broth to come halfway up side of pan, and bring to a boil. Using a spoon or spatula, move vegetables to the sides of the pan and place the seared brisket in center. Cover tightly with foil. Braise in oven until meat is tender, 3 to 3.5 hours. You're looking for fork tender brisket.
- Transfer brisket to a tray, cover with foil and keep warm. Remove and discard the fat from surface of braising liquid (optional). Strain braising liquid into large measuring cup and transfer cooked vegetables to serving bowl. Cover to keep warm. Cook braising liquid over high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes (or thicken with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup water mixed).
- Transfer brisket to a cutting board and slice against the grain. Arrange on platter and pour reduced braising liquid over and serve immediately with vegetables.
- Often times you can purchase an entire brisket that includes the flat and point (deckle). Sometimes the butcher just has one or the other. For this recipe I used a flat brisket, which is great for braising or making corned beef. I trimmed the 8 lb flat brisket of all excess fat and the weight was a total of 6.5 lbs.
- If you do not drink red wine (alcohol), feel free to substitute Pomegranate juice or Concord grape juice (non-alcoholic). A friend told me it worked well.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.