Braised Brisket

A meal in a pot--easy, tasty and healthy

I have always liked a good brisket. I found a nice one in the supermarket this week, and could not resist it. It had almost no fat on it, which usually makes a piece of meat impossible to roast, but this method of cooking does not depend on the fat to baste the meat, and so is as low-fat as beef can be. In slightly different form, this dish is an Austrian favorite called tafelspitz, served with potatoes cooked along with it. It is an original recipe, but the method is so obvious and easy that I cannot claim much originality. A pound of brisket will serve two amply.

Cut the brisket into pieces of a convenient size to fit in the covered casserole dish. In a little oil, brown the pieces in a frying pan, and then cut up an onion and fry it until transparent. Put this in the casserole, and pour over a cup of water with a beef bouillion cube dissolved in it, and a cup of red wine. Add salt and pepper to taste, put in a slow oven (300°F), and forget about it. It will take at least three hours before the brisket is tender, so give it this full time and check. The liquid should not boil away excessively, and there should be an ample amount at all times. I did not have to add any water, but this might be necessary.

Peel and cut into large pieces about two russet or three red potatoes and three carrots, and put them in with the nearly-done brisket until tender, about 45 minutes. If using russets, do not allow the potatoes to become overdone, and put the vegetables in the liquid as far as possible. Everything will cook beautifully, and there will be a rich dark gravy to accompany it. Slice the meat and serve beside the vegetables. Something green is a good accompaniment, such as green beans, Swiss chard or Brussels sprouts, and will round out the nutritional character. All this excellent meal requires is ample time.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 14 September 2002
Last revised