I’m all for smoked brisket. It’s delicious and hard to beat. There’s just one problem: I don’t have a smoker. I don’t have wood chips either. Actually, I don’t even have a backyard. Smoked brisket is out for now.
Old school brisket tastes nostalgic and surprisingly yummy. Still, it’s hard for me to come to terms with packaged onion soup mix and ketchup in my dinner.
Many slow cooker recipes carry on and on about how tender the brisket is when it comes out of the crock pot after cooking for eight hours. Of course it is. Slow cookers always make meat tender. That’s their job! Da-Le Ranch grass-fed brisket is special, and it deserves bold, punchy flavors and a long, slow cook.
I chose to sear the meat before cooking it, and I had to cut it in half so it would fit in the pot. If you’re really short on time, go ahead and skip that step. Just season the meat and stick it in the slow-cooker.
Edit: I just made this recipe for Passover. I used 8 pounds of brisket. I cooked it for 10 hours in a 200 degree oven. If you’d rather use the oven than the slow cooker, place the seared meat in a large roasting dish and cover it tightly with foil while it cooks. The oven-cooked brisket developed a really nice bark.
Celery root looks really…unique… but makes a great mash. It has a mild celery flavor. I found it a little strong on its own, but the addition of parsnips rounds it out perfectly.
It’s worth it to make a gremolata to top this off. Mince some green herbs (parsley, cilantro, etc.), lemon zest, and garlic. Mix it all together and use it to garnish your meal. It ties the whole dish together.
- 3-4 lb. brisket, trimmed
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. dried mustard (sub 1-2 tbsp. wet mustard if that’s all you have)
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 tbsp. bacon fat
- 2 medium onions, chopped into eighths
- 3 c. concentrated beef stock (“bone broth” for all my Paleo friends)
- 1/2 c. dry red wine
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c. plain, unsalted tomato sauce
In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and dried mustard. Stir to combine. Dry the brisket with a paper towel. Season generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the spice blend over the brisket and press it into the meat. Use more spices if you don’t have enough to cover the whole brisket.
Heat the bacon fat in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Sear the brisket on both sides. You may need to cut brisket in half and brown the meat in two batches.
Put the onions in the slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the onions in the slow cooker. Deglaze the Dutch oven with a splash of broth to release any spices that are stuck to the bottom. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Pour the broth from the pot into the slow cooker. Add the rest of the broth as well as the red wine. The brisket should be sitting in liquid, but the top of the brisket should not be immersed. Spread the tomato sauce on the top of the brisket with a brush or the back of a spoon.
Cover the slow cooker. Turn it on low and cook for six to eight hours, or until it is very tender. Remove the meat from the slow cooker. Strain the liquid and save it in a container. Let the meat and sauce cool. Refrigerate until cold.
Once the sauce is cold, take the fat off the top with a large spoon. If the sauce is still very thin, you can simmer it in a pot until it concentrates and reduces. Slice the meat against the grain and pour the sauce over the meat. Reheat in a slow cooker or a 200 degree oven. Garnish with gremolata or fresh herbs.
Celery Root & Parsnip Purée
- 2 celery roots
- 4 medium parsnips
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 4 tbsp. butter
Peel the celery roots and parsnips and chop them into 1″ pieces. Boil for about twenty minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted. Drain and return to the pot.
Add the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and butter. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or masher to purée the mixture until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Garnish with fresh herbs and paprika.