Evidently most people know brisket as some sort of smoked BBQ thing. I didn’t know about this until I was googling for recipe variations and kept finding smoking instructions. Isn’t smoking what they do to whitefish and salmon? Perhaps the occasional gouda. Evidently smoking meats is like a thing in the south and I had the definition of BBQ totally confused but that is a discussion for another day. The way I have always eaten (and cooked) brisket was slow cooked in the oven with vegetables and plenty of liquids. You need to google “Jewish Brisket” for this variation.

On the bright side my version is much easier and involves a lot less equipment than the smoked version. Brisket is usually a holiday dish but the other day my husband came home with a huge hunk of meat and promised he would help me cook it. Turned out his help was keeping the children contained while I chopped, seared, cooked, and cleaned up. Better than nothing.

First thing to do is decide on the meat. I always like to use the decle (point) cut of the brisket because it has more fat but fat-phobic people prefer the flat cut. Either will work. Once the meat is chosen you will salt and pepper it and then sear it in a little bit of oil on both sides. I cut mine in half because it was too big to fit in my pan.

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After it is seared place it in a roasting dish. I deglazed the pan with some red wine to get all the burnt stuff off (fond as they say) but you could use stock or even water.

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Then add the remnants of the pot, a few beef marrow bones and vegetables. I added 3 marrow bones, 2 onions, 2 carrot, 3 stalks of celery, 8 cloves of garlic and a few tb of tomato paste.

Then season. I added Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Osem (chicken

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soup base), a Tb of soy sauce, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. No additional salt. How much seasoning you add is really optional. You just need to taste and adjust. Out of all the seasonings the one that is indispensable is the onion soup mix. Usually I am not a “mix” person but this is the secret. Then add water to halfway cover the meat.

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Cover with foil and bake at 300-325 for 3.5-4 hours. Here it is after about 3.5 hours. At this point I would add cubed potatoes and let it cook the last half hour but I was potato-less which was sad because this is so good with potatoes.

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Remove the meat and carrots to a platter (and potatoes if you added them).

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Take the marrow out of the bones and leave the marrow with the rest of the stuff in the pan. Discard the empty bones.

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Then blend up the sauce in the pan. My sauce went flying  as the pan was not deep enough so I poured it into a bowl. This will be the gravy. Add salt or pepper if needed. You can reduce it on the stove top if its too bland or add water if its too salty. This really depends on how well (or poorly) you seasoned it.

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Ideally you want to let the meat chill overnight so you can slice it thin across the grain and then heat it up in the gravy. That was not happening as my husband was anxious to eat it so the slices were thicker than usual but still good! Serve with bread to soak of the gravy.

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