Long, slow, moist cooking (we use beer for the liquid) makes brisket extraordinarily tender. A simple, four-ingredient spice rub adds a little sass.
- 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
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.
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.
SourceEveryday Food, October 2012