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.
The brisket can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in its sauce for up to 5 days. Reheat gently in a 350 degree oven or on the stovetop before serving.
Spicy Pinot Noir: 2014 Lazy Creek Middleridge Ranch.
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