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Chili-Braised Brisket

Long, slow, moist cooking (we use beer for the liquid) makes brisket extraordinarily tender. A simple, four-ingredient spice rub adds a little sass.

  • prep: 30 mins
    total time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • servings: 6
Photography: Romulo Yanes

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Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds beef brisket
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (root end left intact)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces pale lager, such as pilsner
  • 1 pound small potatoes
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving

Cook's Note

Brisket is a large, flat cut from the front end of the steer. You'll see two types at the supermarket. The so-called first cut, at left, is thinner and leaner than the thicker, marbled point, or second cut. Both will work here.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chili powder, fennel seed, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and rub all over brisket. In a large heavy ovenproof pot, heat oil over medium-high. Cook brisket until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Step 2

    Add onion to pot and saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and saute 1 minute. Add beer and 2 cups water, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil; return brisket to pot, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise until brisket is almost tender, about 3 hours. Tilt pot and spoon off fat from liquid. Add potatoes, carrots, and 1 cup water; braise until meat is very tender, 50 minutes more. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then slice. Stir vinegar and cilantro into vegetables; serve with meat, sprinkled with more cilantro.

Source
Everyday Food, October 2012

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