It’s fall! My favorite season for so many reasons. The smells, football, cooler weather and of course the food! It’s so nice to have a cozy sweater on while cooking a nice comfort meal. One of the first meals I usually cook in the fall is braised brisket and shallots.
The first time I made this meal, my family was flipping over it. The first time I made this for guests, they were flipping over it. So, I’ve got some clout with this recipe.
Let’s go shopping! Go to the brisket aisle and you’ll find everything from what looks like half a cow (something I’m assuming people use for giant cookouts or bbq cookoffs) and regular sized ones.
Get the regular. It’s usually 3-4 pounds. Get a slab that has a good layer of fat on it. And if you’re lucky enough to find marbling, grab that.
Start prepping this meal around lunchtime, since it takes around 4-5 hours in the oven. Take your brisket and cut it into large pieces just so you can better handle it in the pan while browning. Then, salt and pepper both sides of the meat.
Peel your shallots and garlic. The only shallots I could find at the grocery store were huge, so I sliced them down. Otherwise, if you find normal sized shallots (slightly larger than garlic cloves) you don’t need to do this.
Heat a drizzle of oil in your dutch oven to medium high. Add your meat and brown on all sides. This adds flavor and seals in the juices while baking.
Remove your meat from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add a bit more olive oil. Cook your shallots and garlic, stirring frequently, until fragrant and caramelized. This usually takes around 15 minutes or so.
Add 3 cups of red wine. I had a bottle open, so I just used that. One eyeball trick is… as you’re pouring, count “one-one thousand, two-one-thousand…. up to 3”. There’s your three cups.
Cook the wine down to 3/4 of the original amount then remove from heat. Add the meat and 3-4 cups of water. Cover and bake 4-5 hours.
Enjoy the fantastic smells going through your home while it’s cooking. It gets everybody in the mood for dinner.
After you remove from the oven, let it sit for a good 10-15 minutes so the juices will reabsorb and settle into the meat before slicing.
Plop the meat on your plate and add sides. One thing we’ve discovered is that instead of the usual potatoes we actually prefer egg noodles on the side. Seriously, it’s a good swap. The juices from the brisket combined with the noodles is so good. Carrots with thyme go perfectly as well. And they are ridiculously easy to make.
This will be your favorite brisket for sure! Next time you have family in town, it’s also a great meal to make. Happy fall!