by Chef Karl Marsh2
Braised Beef Brisket
One of my favorite things to make in the winter months is a braised roast of beef. Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot or pan at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid (which may also add flavor).
The purpose of braising is to break down the connecting tissues in less tender cuts of meat. Examples of meats to braise include: Chuck (Chuck Eye Roast, Chuck Arm Roast, Chuck Shoulder Roast, Short Ribs), Brisket (Whole Brisket, Brisket Flat Roast, Brisket Point Roast) Shank (Cross Cut Shanks, Whole Beef Shanks), Round (Top Round Roast, Bottom Round Roast, Eye Round Roast, Boneless Rump Roast. They are also inexpensive which makes braising so cost effective.
It is best to first brown your roast using a large pan and some oil over high heat until the roast is evenly browned. I usually recommend seasoning the protein first. Once the roast is browned it is common to “deglaze” the pan using some wine or some of the liquid that will be used in the braising process, this will help you to capture the dripping from the pan which are loaded with flavor. Place the roast along with all the liquid, including the pan drippings in a Dutch oven or deep roasting pan.
It is very important to cover the top of the pan as tightly as possible so that steam and pressure will build up during the oven cooking process. The liquid for the braising process can vary depending on the dish you’re trying to make. For example, barbecue sauce would be used for a barbecue brisket, and beef broth would be used for a pot roast. Usually if using a thick liquid such as barbecue sauce you will want to thin it down with wine, broth or water since it will thicken as it cooks and if it gets too thick it will burn. You can also experiment with putting root vegetables in braising pan along with your roast to create a complete meal and enhance the flavor.
The oven part of the process is usually done at 350°F and can vary in time from 3 to 8 hours depending on what cut is being braised and how big it is. General rule of thumb is that the protein will shred easily with a fork when it is properly braised.
However, I recommend that if time allows you do the oven part at 250°F instead and increase the cooking time. The reason for this is that the connecting tissues start to break down slowly at 140 degrees internal. The longer you can do that the more tender it will be. You want to avoid letting the internal temp go much beyond 180 or it will dry out. The lower the oven temp, the longer the internal temp will be between 140 and 180, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful the finished product will be. An example would be cooking a chuck roast in a crockpot on high for 4 hours versus cooking it on low for 8 hours. The slower cooked one will be much more tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Below is one of my favorite recipes for braising. Give it a try sometime on a cold winter day!
Cheers, Chef Karl
- 1 each Omaha Steaks 3 lb. Brisket
- 2 tsp Omaha Steaks All Natural Seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. Cup Canola Oil
- 2 cups Yellow Onion Diced
- 2 Tbsp. Garlic Fresh Chopped
- 1 Cup Bottled Chili sauce
- 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
- ½ Cup Beef Broth
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
- ½ Cup Red Wine
- Thaw Brisket overnight in fridge.
- Heat Canola Oil in a large pan.
- Blot brisket dry with clean paper towel and generously season each side with 1 tsp Omaha Steaks All Natural Seasoning.
- Brown brisket in hot oil on both sides for about 2-4 minutes each side.
- Remove brisket from pan and place in crock pot, or raised side braising pan or Dutch oven.
- Add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and cook until transparent.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Pour sauce into crock pot, or raised side braising pan or ditch oven. Cover tightly with foil or the correct size lid.
- If using crock pot cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- If using braising pan or Dutch oven, cover tightly with foil or lid and place in 250 oven for 6-8 hours.
- You can serve it that day or cool overnight in fridge before slicing and reheating in the sauce.