Wine-Braised Brisket of Beef with Caramelized Pearl Onions and Dried Apricots

Picture by my amazing photographer friend Dan
I made this recipe yesterday for my Hanukkah dinner. It’s from epicurious, but I’m posting it rather than just linking to it, because I made a couple of changes. It was quite good, and I may make it again for another Hanukkah.
I will note that I didn’t have a pot large enough to accommodate the brisket, so I browned it by parts in a wide pan, and then placed it in a lasagna pan – which I covered with aluminum foil.
Note that brisket can be hard to find, even around Hanukkah. I was able to find it at the Safeway in Alameda, but only by asking at the meat counter (they didn’t have it out). Of course, you can always order it from a butcher.
Wine-Braised Brisket of Beef with Caramelized Pearl Onions and Dried Apricots

  • 5 lbs brisket
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 bottle red wine (I use 2buck chuck)
  • flour
  • vegetable oil
  • 6 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 leek, white part only, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 6 springs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. herbs de provence
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 quart plus 1/4 cup beef stock (I use better than bouillon)
  • 1 pckg frozen pearl onions, defrosted

Rub the brisket on both sides with kosher salt and sprinkle with black pepper and let rest, refrigerated, for at least 2 hours.
In a small pan, reduce the red wine by half and set aside.
Preheat oven to 250F
Heat oil in a wide pan. Dredge the meat in flour and brown it on both sides. Place the meat in a dutch oven or pan large enough to accommodate it and set aside.
Pour out the oil from the pan, and add a little bit more. Add the shallots, carrots, celery and leek and sautee until light brown. Add 1/2 cup of apricots and the parsley, herbs de provence, bay leaves and tomato paste. Stir and cook for one minute.
Pour the vegetables on top of the brisket, along with the wine and 1 qt. beef broth. Cover and cook for 4 1/2 hours.
Soon before the brisket is ready, sautee the pearl onions on some oil until golden brown. Cut 1/2 cup of apricots into thin strips and add them to the onions. Stir and add 1/4 cup beef broth, deglazing the pan. Set aside, keeping it warm.
Remove the brisket from the oven, and carefully remove it from the pan. Cover it to keep it warm. Boil the liquid until it reduces by half. Strain it, discarding the vegetables & fruits.
Mix the onions with the liquid, and serve with the brisket.
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