For extra-tender brisket, cookbook author Julia Turshen cleverly uses a damp piece of crumpled parchment as a protective blanket for the meat to prevent it from drying out while it roasts. “In this case, a wet blanket is a good thing!” she says.
Slideshow:More Brisket Recipes
One 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound brisket, preferably second cut
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika (pimentón)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
12 pitted prunes
12 dried Turkish apricots
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the brisket with salt. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the brisket and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Add the onion to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, tomato paste, paprika and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is deep red in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the prunes and apricots. Return the brisket and its juices to the casserole.
Scrunch up a large piece of parchment paper and moisten it with water. Spread the wet parchment over the brisket, cover and braise in the oven until tender, about 3 hours. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve with the sauce.
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