Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

My mother-in-law was not known as a great cook.   Whenever she would offer to cook, my father-in-law would leap from his chair and say, “You look tired, Sal.  Let’s go out.”  That ploy seemed to suit everyone most of the time, but even people who claim not to cook usually have at least one dish they can prepare, despite their lack of interest or experience.  For my mother-in-law, it was her beef brisket with potatoes and carrots.  My husband still judges all beef brisket against hers, and with good reason.  It was so tender, and sliced paper thin, with just enough tomatoes to give it an acidic tang.

It wasn’t an adventurous meal, but it was filling and flavorful, and she was justly proud of it.  My mother-in-law was the greatest; funny in a Judy Holiday didn’t-realize-she-was-being-funny way, fiercely loyal, supportive of her family, and the only woman I ever knew who could rock a turban.  I still miss her, but I am very glad to have her best recipe to share with you.

Beef Brisket Meal
Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 hours


  • 1 four-pound brisket of beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 leeks, cut into thin slices
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ten-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, and parsley for garnish
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into three-inch chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into three-inch segments


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over brisket and rub with garlic.
  2. Place chopped onions and leeks in bottom of casserole dish. In a heavy saucepan, sear brisket in canola oil until browned.
  3. Place brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions and leeks in the casserole dish.  Cover with beef broth, tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary.Beef Brisket before
  4. Cover and bake for four hours, basting with pan juices.
  5. Add parsley, potatoes, and carrots, and bake uncovered for half an hour.  Brisket should be tender enough that you can easily stick a fork in it.Beef Brisket after
  6. To carve, place brisket fat side down and cut across the grain in the thinnest slices possible.  Pour the hot juices and cooked onions and leeks over the meat, garnish with parsley, and serve.IMG_2449

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