This Savory Herb Braised Brisket is the very first brisket recipe I ever developed, and it continues to be a family favorite. With carrots, celery and aromatic fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, this tender, saucy brisket is perfect for holiday celebrations like Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
This braised brisket cooks slowly for a long time, allowing the fresh herbs to deeply flavor the meat. Your house will smell amazing as it cooks!
People often ask me what cut of brisket works best for my recipes. I generally recommend first cut, untrimmed. The first cut is easiest to find in supermarkets; it is shaped flat and has a thinner layer of fat. Second cut works great too– it is shaped with a point, and has a lot more fat. You’ll generally get more meat servings out of a first cut than a second cut.
Whichever cut you use, do NOT ask the butcher to trim the fat. Brisket needs fat for flavor and moisture during the cooking process; trim it before cooking, and you’ll end up with dry, unappetizing meat. You can trim the excess fat after cooking. I show you how below.
More people are turning to grass fed meat; it is naturally leaner and healthier, and often grass fed beef is hormone free. If you choose a grass fed brisket, you will likely need to cook it a bit longer. The lean quality of the meat makes it tougher to break down, and really requires a low and slow approach. If you choose a grass fed brisket, definitely do not trim it, and keep an eye on liquid levels as it cooks to make sure it stays moist.
Make a day ahead using the instructions below for easy slicing, and less preparation to worry about on the day you serve. You can make gravy from the pan drippings using a slurry of potato starch, then cover the meat with the rich herby brown sauce. This pairs really well with my Saffron Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Root Vegetables. It’s all very easy to make!
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Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
Savory Herb Braised Brisket
- 6 lbs first cut brisket, untrimmed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 onions, diced
- 5 carrots, peeled & sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 5 celery stalks, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 quart low sodium beef or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (you may need to use less salt if using a kosher salted brisket)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon potato starch (optional- you may substitute corn starch if not for Passover)
- Fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Rinse the brisket and pat dry. Rub both sides of the meat with black pepper and kosher salt.
- Heat roasting pan over a medium flame on the stovetop. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Brown the brisket on both sides—it will take about 4 minutes per side.
- Remove brisket from the pan. Drizzle a little more olive oil in the pan and add the diced onions, carrot slices and celery chunks. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with your spatula.
- When onion is translucent and carrot slices are slightly caramelized, scoop vegetables out of the pan and place in a bowl. Pour beef broth into the bottom of your pan until covered. Scrape up any remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan as the broth heats up.
- When broth is hot, add half your vegetables back into the pan spread out across the bottom. Place your brisket back into the pan, fatty side facing up. Place garlic cloves on top of the meat, evenly spaced. Add the remaining veggies to the pan, spreading them on top of the brisket to cover. Place herbs on top of the brisket and in the broth, evenly dispersed.Pour more broth into the pan until it goes halfway up the sides of your brisket. Cover roasting pan tightly with a layer of parchment paper, followed by a layer of foil, and place in the oven. If your roasting pan has a lid, use that instead of the parchment/foil combination.
- Let brisket roast undisturbed for 5 to 7 hours. It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat (leaner and grass fed cuts of meat may take longer—test for doneness). Brisket will shrink as it cooks. The meat is ready when it is fork tender and very easy to slice. Remove brisket from the pan. At this point you can follow make-ahead instructions below, if you wish. If you are serving right away, let it rest on the cutting board for 20-30 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, strain pan drippings from the roasting pan into a saucepan and allow to cool. Reserve cooked vegetables.
- Skim fat from the surface of the pan drippings using a spoon.
- Reheat the remaining liquid on stovetop. Stir together the potato starch and 1 1/2 tbsp cold water, then pour into the cooking liquid. Bring liquid to a low simmer until it thickens to make a gravy-style sauce. You may need more of the potato starch and water mixture to thicken further; add slowly and simmer until desired thickness is achieved. Alternatively, you can blend the softened cooked vegetables (with herbs removed) into the gravy to thicken it using an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Cut fat cap off the brisket…
- then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.
- Serve topped with pan juices or thickened gravy, along with the softened veggies if you have reserved them. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.To Make Ahead: After cooking the brisket, open the lid or foil and parchment to vent, then let the brisket slowly return to room temperature. Switch the brisket and sauce to a ceramic or glass dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Let the brisket chill overnight, or up to two days. You can also freeze the brisket up to a week ahead if you prefer. 1-2 hours before serving, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The fat in the sauce will have risen to the top and solidified. Use a spoon to scoop the fat bits out of the sauce and discard.
- Take the brisket out of the dish and brush any excess sauce back into the dish. Place brisket on a cutting board, fat-side up. Slice the meat cold—first cut the fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.
- Return the sliced meat to the dish and spoon sauce over it, making sure to spoon a little sauce between each slice.
- Cover the dish with lid or layer of parchment and foil, then place in the oven. Let the brisket cook for 45-60 minutes until heated through. You can cook it even longer to let it become more tender, if you wish. Serve with thickened sauce and softened veggies, using the sauce thickening instructions above.
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