How to Braise a Beef Brisket for a Pot Roast
How to Braise a Brisket Pot Roast
We tend to think of a traditional pot roast as a labor-intensive dish—one reserved for grandmothers who slaved away all day in the kitchen. Of course, the results are worth it—tender, succulent beef that is fork-tender and loaded with flavor, alongside fluffy, richly flavored potatoes.
But there's a big problem with this notion. Mainly because it's just wrong. A great pot roast takes almost no effort, only a few ingredients, and not much else except a little time and know-how.
This recipe uses a large counter-top roaster, but you can get the exact same results with a large slow cooker or crockpot—even a large Dutch oven. So grab whatever large pot you have, a few ingredients, and get ready for glory. I'll even show you how to make the au jus! Now, pass the potatoes.
- 1 large beef brisket*, about 6-7 pounds
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 6-7 sprigs fresh parsley
- 5-6 medium potatoes, Russet or Yukon Gold, quartered
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine
*You can use any size roast you wish. The one I show in this article and the video was about 7-8 pounds, and I've done smaller ones that were about 4-5 pounds. The recipe doesn't change, so use whatever works for you.
- Remove brisket from packaging and pat dry. Trim any excess fat. Excess fat simply means anything crazy - but you want to leave the fat cap intact while the brisket cooks. If you trim it too closely the finished pot roast will be dry and tough. This is comfort food, so it's fine.
- Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Be generous - you're seasoning the entire dish, and if you skimp on seasoning here, it won't be fully flavored as it should be.
- Place the brisket into the roaster. You can use a slow cooker or a Dutch oven, anything that is large enough to hold the brisket. Place the brisket with the fat cap up, so that the fat renders out and through the meat, helping keep it rich, tender and juicy. Nobody likes pot roast that masquerades as beef jerky.
- Throw in the onion, celery, and parsley. Don't add the potatoes at this point, otherwise, they'll turn to mush by the time the brisket has cooked.
- Set your slow cooker to low, or a roaster or Dutch oven to 250F. Let the brisket cook for 6 hours. Leave it alone, no matter how tempting it is to lift the lid to peek, don't. It reduces the heat too much and adds cooking time. It also lets too much moisture escape. I promise the roast will be much happier if you let it sit and do its work in peace.
- After 6 hours, toss in the potatoes. You can also add carrots, parsnips or any other sturdy root vegetable you like. I kept this recipe simple and just added potatoes, but you can take advantage of the cooking time to include whatever you'd like.
- After an additional hour and a half, you are almost ready to go. Lift the roast out of the cooker and place it on a cutting board to rest. Drain off the juices that were released during cooking. Skim off fat, or use a fat separator to drain off the fat. Transfer the juices to a small saucepan, and bring up to a simmer.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of red wine, and simmer the jus for about five minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- You have a couple of choices for the roast. You can shred the roast by 'pulling' it - working with forks to pull with the grain of the meat to create shreds. Or more traditionally, slice the roast across the grain. I showed both in the pictures below.
- Serve the roast with the potatoes, and drizzle with the jus. That's it! All done and you look like a rockstar!
Ideas for Leftover Beef Brisket Pot Roast
There are all kinds of things you can do with the leftovers. I make big roasts on purpose so I don't have to cook later in the week when things get busy!
- MakebBeef and barley stew with diced beef roast and the leftover au jus.
- Use the shredded beef in a salad with romaine and sliced red onion.
- Make tacos with sour cream, tomatoes, and fresh, minced green onion.
- Use romaine or fresh cabbage leaves for lettuce wraps - just toss leftover shredded beef with hoisin sauce, serve with rice and you're good to go!
© 2017 Jan Charles