Chili-Braised Brisket

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins

This spiced-up pot roast will make you think of a ranch-house kitchen, where something fragrant and hearty is always in the oven. Long, slow, moist cooking (we use beer for the liquid) makes brisket extraordinarily tender. A simple, 4-ingredient spice rub adds a little sass.


  • 5 teaspoons chili powder

  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seed

  • Coarse salt and pepper

  • 3 ½ pounds beef brisket

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, cut into ½-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 ½-inch pieces

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving


  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. 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.

    Romulo Yanes

Cook's Notes

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.

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