Joints of meat – lamb, pork, beef or otherwise – aren’t something we indulge in too often. Usually, they’re more expensive – less frugal – than cuts like skirt, ox cheek, scrag end and offal. Brisket is a little different, however. Supporting much of the weight of its attached cow, brisket is naturally sinewy and tough, making it one of the cheaper cuts. A simple but flavoursome dish, this recipe for Slow Cooked Brisket with Onions is the perfect easy Sunday afternoon roast.
Cooking beef brisket removes many of the off putting aspects associated with the Sunday lunch. Roasts are one of the most enjoyable family meals, but do produce a prodigious amount of washing up and demand at least as much preparation and thought.
Slow cooked beef brisket is a little different, however, in that you would usually cook it as a one pot dish. Add a spoonful of creamy mashed potato to the side and you end up with very little cleaning up indeed.
Despite being one of the cheaper cuts of meat, brisket – like ox cheek – seems incredibly indulgent, perhaps because of its obviously high fat content. When you pull it from the oven, glistening in its own delicious juices, you know it’s going to be an exceptional meal. Add some flavoursome gravy and caramelised onions and it’s difficult to do any better, despite the frugal price tag.
You may question why I’ve used lamb stock here, but if you think about it the reason is clear. Lamb stock is “sweeter” than beef stock, making it a better match for the flavour profile of caramelised onions and the addition of sugar.
If you’d like to try it with beef stock, however, here’s a handy recipe to help…
This recipe can take a lot of time to get right; if you want it really tender then it’ll take several hours. However, this is one you can pop in the slow cooker on low for a whole day. In fact, brisket is better cooked and eaten the next day. This allows you to remove fat from the gravy and gives the flavours time to develop.
Slow Cooked Brisket with Onions
- 750g beef brisket joint
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 40g butter
- 3 large red onions, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 400ml lamb stock
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- ½ tsp of salt
- A little black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). Heat the olive oil on the hob in a large roasting tin, brown the meat all over and set it aside on a plate.
- Return the roasting tin to the heat, add the butter and saute the onions and garlic gently until softened.
- Return the meat to the pan and pour in the stock, along with the bay leaves, sugar salt and black pepper.
- Pop the meat into the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 160C/140C(fan), cover tightly with foil and slow cook for 2-3 hours, depending on how tender you like your brisket and how much time you have.
- Roughly chop the meat before serving. It’s delicious alongside creamy mashed potato, this root vegetable mash, or thrust between two pieces of delicious sourdough.
Cost: As mentioned above, beef brisket is an inexpensive cut, perfect for frugal eaters of meat. A joint of around 750g should set you back in the region of £6, even at the finest of butchers. In some cases it’s even cheaper than ox cheek.
Taking that into account, this delicious recipe for slow cooked brisket with onions can be made for £7. Factor in some mash and what you have is a roast dinner for the family for under £8. Wine not included…