Garlicky Braised Beef Brisket

I think everyone who is interested in cooking should learn how to braise.  With a little time and effort you can turn an inexpensive tough cut of meat into a melt in your mouth tender and delicious dish.  In a nutshell braising means to cook something by browning in fat, adding a small amount of liquid, and simmer in a closed container.  This dish is inspired by Emeril Lagasse’s Passover Brisket.  I made a few changes due to a lack of ingredients but it still came out amazing!


The first thing you will do is make one inch slits all over and stuff with whole cloves of garlic. I used about 20 cloves.

Place brisket in a roasting pan and bake at 500 degrees F until well caramelized.  Flip the brisket over and brown the other side as well.

Reduce the temperature to 350 and add enough beef stock to come up 1/3 of the way.  Cover with foil and bake for one hour. 

While the brisket cooks slice up your onions.


I wanted to try adding whole star anise to my onions as described by Heston Blumenthal who claims you can achieve an amazing meaty flavor.  I didn’t cook the onions for seven hours like Heston would but I could definitely taste the difference in flavor.  Don’t forget to remove the anise!  I once chewed a hidden piece of anise and it was not enjoyable.  The side of my mouth became numb and I could not wash out the flavor for a while.


After an hour remove the brisket and add the onions as well as the rest of ingredients to the liquid. Gently stir everything around to distribute.  Return to oven for another 2 to 3 hours or until very tender.  It did not make sense to strain out all of the onions so I left them in.  I also used the ice technique to remove a lot of the fat that cooked out into the sauce.


As you can see this technique is very effective.  Yes, your sauce will have added water but you can reduce your sauce over high heat which will remove the water.  


I reduced the sauce for a thicker consistency and served it with mashed potato and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Garlicky Braised Beef Brisket
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
8 to 10 pound brisket
20 garlic cloves
1 quart beef stock
3 large onions, sliced
1 whole star anise
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon italian herbs or herbs de provence
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Using a paring knife cut one inch slits all over brisket and insert garlic cloves.  Place brisket in a roasting pan and bake until well caramelized.  Turn brisket over and repeat.  Reduce oven temperature to 350.  Add enough beef stock to come up 1/3 the way of the brisket.  Cover with foil and and bake one hour.  While brisket is cooking, slice the onions.  Pour a tablespoon of canola oil in a large saute pan and caramelize the onions with the star anise over medium high heat.  Remove the brisket after one hour and add the onions along with the remaining ingredients.  Return to oven for 2 to 3 hours until very tender.  Remove brisket to a cutting board to slice.  Serve with the sauce.
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