How to Make a Perfect Brisket (and Stew!)

Brisket is a tough cut of meat that needs hours to become tender — but once it does, its delicious, melt-in-your-mouth quality is well worth the few hours’ cooking time. My mom has been making this brisket for as long as I can remember, and she always wings it.  And winging it well, I might add!  Her brisket is always perfect.  What you’re reading here is how my mom makes her brisket — now for the first time, on the record!  


While this would be a brilliant addition to Hanukkah or another holiday dinner, it’s also great to make to have on hand to feed the family for days.  I like this best over rice or with a rustic, crusty slice of bread.  (My super cute six-year-old likes it with melted cheese in a quesadilla!)  



  • 2 1/2 pound brisket
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup roughly chopped peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Serves 8

Total prep and cooking time: about 8 hours

Active work time: 20 minutes

To make the brisket, preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place a sheet of heavy duty foil in a large (approximately 4-quart) rectangular baking dish.  Place the brisket, fat side down, on the foil. 


Pour the apple juice and Worcestershire sauce on top of the meat and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Wrap and seal the foil tightly around the brisket, leaving room for air.  (Leave a couple inches room around the brisket, at least.) Place the brisket in the preheated oven for 6 hours.  Then let it cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator overnight.  When you remove it from the refrigerator, flip the meat over and use the back of a knife to gently scrap all of the fat off and discard.  Leave any juices in the dish and set aside.  Place the meat on a cutting board and cut it into thin (about 1/2-inch) slices — against the grain!  Set aside.  


To make the stew, heat the oven to 350 degrees and, in a medium stock pot, add the onion and garlic to a bit of olive oil.  Saute over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes.  Turn the heat to high and add the mushrooms.  Cook until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the potatoes and carrots and about 1/2 cup of water.  Use a spatula to scrape any bits of food off the bottom of the pot, reduce the heat to low, cover, and steam the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the peas, stir to combine, season with salt and pepper, and pour into the reserved baking dish you used for the brisket.  Add the sliced meat and set aside.

In the same pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Cook for a few minutes until it begins to brown.  Gradually whisk in the wine with the stock or broth.  Bring to a boil, season generously with salt and pepper to taste, and pour it over the meat and vegetables.  Cover with foil and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Remove the foil and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.  

And now you’re done.  Enjoy!

Some additional notes:

You can use garbanzo flour in lieu of the all-purpose for a gluten-free option.  It has a delicious nutty flavor!


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