Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I’m thrilled to share with you a recipe that resonates deeply with comfort food lovers – the Slow Cooker Beef Brisket. The brisket, a cut from the lower chest of beef or veal, is known for its rich flavors and satisfying texture when cooked slowly. Originating from the culinary traditions of Eastern Europe, this dish has found a cherished place in American cuisine, particularly revered in the barbecue scenes of Texas. A slow cooker version allows for a more set-and-forget approach, making it a superb choice for a hearty family meal or an impressive centerpiece for casual entertaining. What’s more, this dish exemplifies the beauty of transformation as the connective tissues in the brisket melt into succulence over the low and slow cooking process. Let’s dive into this culinary journey that brings a delectably tender brisket to your table with minimal fuss.
This majestic Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is versatile and goes hand in hand with numerous accompaniments. For a classic pairing, try serving it alongside a creamy coleslaw or a fresh green salad to balance the richness. Roasted vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips can absorb the brisket’s flavorful juices, elevating the entire dining experience. For those who favor a touch of starch, a side of garlicky mashed potatoes or a warm loaf of crusty bread will not disappoint. And don’t forget the pickles and barbecue sauce for that extra kick!
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
Servings: Serves 6 to 8
– 4-5 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large onion, sliced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup beef broth
– 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine (for a richer flavor)
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
– 2 bay leaves
– Fresh thyme sprigs
1. Begin by patting the brisket dry with paper towels. Then, in a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder to create a seasoning mix.
2. Rub this seasoning mix all over the brisket, ensuring a generous coat on both sides.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket for about 3-4 minutes on each side until a golden crust forms, then transfer it to the slow cooker.
4. In the same skillet, add the sliced onion and garlic, cooking until softened and fragrant – roughly 3 minutes.
5. Pour in the beef broth to deglaze the skillet, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes before pouring it over the brisket in the slow cooker.
6. Toss in bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme on top of the brisket.
7. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the brisket is fork-tender.
8. Once done, let the brisket rest before slicing against the grain. Serve with the gravy created from the cooking juices, strained if desired for a smoother sauce.
Variations & Tips:
– Sweetness Adjustment: For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness, consider adding a touch of honey or maple syrup to the sauce.
– Spice it Up: If a kick is what you’re after, a dash of chipotle in adobo sauce or a sprinkle of chili flakes will add a pleasant heat.
– Thicken the Sauce: To thicken the sauce into a more gravy-like consistency, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch with cold water and stir it into the juices. Cook on high heat in the slow cooker for an additional 15-20 minutes until the desired thickness is achieved.
Remember, the key to a superb brisket is patience. Slow and steady wins this race, infusing the meat with flavors and tenderness that can’t be rushed. Enjoy the journey, and more importantly, the feast that awaits!