Braised Beef Brisket

Deliciously tender Braised Beef brisket is a great way to enjoy fruity, flavorful beef without breaking the bank! With aromatic garlic and onions, wholesome celery and carrots, and a mouthwatering wine sauce made from the braising liquid, it’s a restaurant-quality meal you can enjoy right at home.

close up: slices of braised beef with gravy

To get a taste of high-quality, high-flavor meat, slow and steady wins the race. Braising is the “low and slow” method for preparing beef brisket, and your patience truly pays off when you take that first bite!

So what exactly is braised beef? It’s a dish prepared by slowly cooking meat and vegetables at a low heat until melt-in-your-mouth tender. The meat is seared beforehand, trapping in the seasoning and juices. The same process can be used to prepare other meats and even vegetables, like in my braised chicken and cabbage.

You may find an entire brisket that includes both the flat (which we use for making braised beef brisket) and the point, or deckle. If you wind up with more than the roughly 6 lbs of meat needed for this recipe, you could use the excess to make corned beef.

photo collage: seasoned brisket uncooked, and fully cooked in white casserole dish

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Flat Brisket – Trim all fat from the meat before proceeding – for me, this reduced the weight of my flat brisket from 8 lbs to 6.5 lbs.
  • Dry Rub – A combination of kosher salt, black pepper, and celery salt. Other common spices to use include cumin and paprika.
  • Bacon Fat – Regular vegetable or olive oil are appropriate substitutes.
  • White Onions, Carrots, & Celery – These are the most common slow-cooking vegetables to add flavor. You could also add mushrooms and potatoes.
  • Burgundy Red Wine – Pinot Noir, Domaine Leroy, and Merlo are a handful of good options. Pomegranate or concord grape juice are both non-alcoholic substitutes that can be used.
  • Dried Thyme – Dried herbs add concentrated flavor that will enhance the braised beef and sauce. Fresh can be used as well, but you will need much more – 6 teaspoons of fresh.
  • Beef Broth – This broth will, of course, match the flavor of the meat best. However, mushroom, vegetable, or even chicken broth can be substituted if necessary.
Further reading:  A Homestyle Pot Roast to Warm Your Soul

overhead photo of braised beef brisket on cutting board

How to Make Braised Beef

  1. Season and Marinate. Rub the meat with the salt, pepper, and celery salt, pressing the seasonings into the surface. Wrap in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Prepare to Bake. When ready to proceed, bring the beef brisket to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 275°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  3. Sear the Meat. Heat the bacon fat in a skillet on high. Sear the meat on all sides until browned, then rest the meat on a platter.
  4. Deglaze and Add Vegetables. Lower the heat to medium and brown all vegetables until just soft. Pour the wine in and boil until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan. Add enough broth until it comes about halfway up the pan and boil. Push the vegetables around the edges of the skillet and lay the meat in the center. Transfer to the oven and braise uncovered for 3 to 3.5 hours until fork tender.
  5. Reduce Braising Liquid. Remove the meat from the skillet and cover it with foil to keep it warm. Remove the fat if desired. Strain the braising liquid, moving the cooked vegetables to a serving bowl and covering to keep warm. Return the skillet to the stove and heat on high until reduced by half – about 15 minutes. If not thick enough, add a cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch, ¼ cup water).
  6. Slice and Serve. Place the meat on a cutting board and slice again the grain. Plate with the vegetables, spoon the sauce overtop, and serve.
Further reading:  Cast Iron Chuck Steak

juicy slices of braised beef brisket with sauce

What kind of meat is braised beef?

Because the process does such a great job at tenderizing, some prefer opting for tougher cuts like a chuck roast – it’s inexpensive, and it will end up tender and delicious no matter what. I personally like to use brisket. This is a cut that requires proper technique to make it tender. It’s also rather lean, which I always appreciate in a cut of meat. Another favorite of mine is braised short ribs.

How do you braise beef so it’s tender?

It’s important to have the right amount of liquid and to cook for the proper amount of time. And while you can use any liquid – even water – to braise, I find that using something with acidity (like red wine) helps to make it extra tender. The most important thing to remember is to cook at a low temperature for a long time.

How long can you refrigerate braised beef brisket?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You could also freeze the meat for up to 3 months.

Place it in the skillet along with the sauce and reheat at around 350°F until warmed through. You really only want to give it enough time to warm up, not to cook any further.

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.

Further reading:  Grilled Skirt Steak: A Flavorful Mediterranean Delight

This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking December 2020, has been updated with new content, photos, and/or video in April 2023.

titled photo shows juicy sliced braised beef brisket

For more mouthwatering recipes like this, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.