French Onion Braised Beef Brisket

French Onion Braised Beef Brisket
French Onion Braised Beef Brisket
Although weather-wise we have had not a a bad October at all so far here in St. John's, the Autumn chill is definitely in the air despite the sunny days. It's the time of year when simple comfort food and a good straightforward  hot meal to warm your bones is very much appreciated. Such was the case last week when I was inspired to have this delicious slow cooked meal.

Beef brisket does take a long time to slowly cook to tender perfection but it is so worth the time. Brisket has some of the best flavor of any cut of beef, so there is a reward for your effort. I don't really see slow cooked meals as a lot of work as some folks do. Once the initial preparation is done and the brisket is in the oven, it really becomes just a matter of time and not work, so if you're at home all afternoon anyway, I really don't see what the big deal is. I really see slow cooking as a relatively no-fuss sort of meal and they are very often the kinds of dishes we prepare on what we call Slow-Cooked Sundays.

Other cuts of beef suitable for braising, like chuck, bottom round or blade roast or even flank steak will work well in this recipe and will also shave at least an hour off the cooking time, depending on their size. Taking the time to slowly caramelize the onions is of paramount importance in this recipe; it is the flavor base of the entire recipe and shouldn't be rushed...and remember, once that part is done and it's in the oven, you really just coast through the next few hours until it's time to serve up this fantastic comfort food dinner.

The Yorkshire Pudding popovers shown in the photo are never optional at our house. We simply have to have them with any roast beef dinner; there would be many protestations and much whining if we did not. Perfecting popovers is a skill every good home cook needs to learn and we have full instructions with all the tips and tricks needed to make them successfully every time. It's one of those recipes that really is all about perfecting the method of baking much more than anything else. Unlock all the secrets to making perfect Yorkshire Pudding popovers by clicking here.

See the mouth watering photo of some Yorkshire pudding brisket sandwiches at the end of this recipe. Leftovers like those are a great reason to buy a larger brisket! 

French Onion Braised Beef Brisket

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons
Using my homemade French Onion Soup recipe as a base to create a braising liquid for beef brisket, produced one of the best and tastiest comfort food meals I've had in years.

Prep time: 1/2 hour
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 6 - 8
  • 4 to 5 pound beef brisket
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 3 large onions, white or red, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart/liter low sodium beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dry thyme)
  • fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Begin by caramelizing the onions. Add the butter to a saute pan along with the onions and garlic over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly cook the onions until they are softened and begin to slowly caramelize and turn brown. Do not do this too quickly or they will develop a bitter flavor. Slow cooking the onions will bring out their natural sweetness. Don't rush this, it will take 15 o 20 minutes or so.
  3. In a cast iron pan over medium high heat, add a little canola oil. Season the brisket with salt and pepper and brown the brisket on all sides before adding it to a covered roasting pan.
  4. To the roasting pan, add all of the other ingredients, including the caramelized onions. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil as tightly as possible before adding the lid. Place in a 325 degree oven for 4 hours or until the brisket is fall apart tender.
  6. Skim the excess fat from the pan drippings and serve as a jus with the brisket or use it to make a gravy, whichever you prefer. 
Another fantastic serving suggestion for this tender beef brisket recipe and a perfect excuse to make additional Yorkshire pudding popovers, is this popover stuffed brisket sandwich with the French onion braising liquid as an au jus dip. Leftovers were never more satisfying or delicious than this.

French Onion Braised Beef Brisket Yorkshire Pudding Sandwich
with French Onion Au Jus Dip

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