When I was growing up brisket was a favourite Jewish Friday night dinner but now it is popular with everyone. Chefs are using it in poutine, ravioli and pappardella and it is the favourite cut in the popular Texas style barbecues. It is a tough and relatively inexpensive cut of meat that has to be braised for a long time and then the magic happens - it becomes meltingly tender. I always cook my brisket from start to finish until tender (up to 5 hours) but my good friend and colleague Mitchell Davis always cooks his for 2 hours, slices it, reassembles it with the juices and, covered tightly, cooks it for 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer or until very tender. Either method works well. Brisket is the main course of choice for many Seders. Just cook it long enough and it will be one of the best meals ever - traditional and modern at the same time.
Makes 10 to 12Â servings
1. Sprinkle brisket with paprika, salt and pepper.
2. Place onions and garlic in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Place brisket on top. Add red wine, stock and tomatoes. Top with sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Place parchment paper directly on top of brisket.Â Cover tightly with the lid or aluminum foil. Bring to a boil on top of the stove if possible or place directly in the oven.
3. Place in a preheated 350F (180C) oven forÂ 4 to 5 hours or until fork tender. Remove lid and paper (discard sprigs of herbs) and if brisket is not browned on top, continue cooking until browned about 1/2 hour longer.
4. Remove brisket to a carving board. Strain liquid and remove and discard fat. (Reduce juices in a wide deep skillet over medium high heat if they arenâ€™t intense or thick enough.) Slice meat and place in a serving dish. Pour juices over meat.
Note: If you have time, chill brisket overnight for easy carving. Place sliced meat in a shallow baking dish and spoon juices over the top. Cover tightly. Reheat in 325F (160C) oven for 45 to 50 minutes until hot and bubbling.