Slow Cooked Brisket with Onions

Roast Brisket Recipe

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.

Slow Cooked Brisket Recipe

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

Serves 4-6


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Return the roasting tin to the heat, add the butter and saute the onions and garlic gently until softened.
  3. Return the meat to the pan and pour in the stock, along with the bay leaves, sugar salt and black pepper.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Caramelised Onions and Brisket Recipe Slow Cooked Beef Brisket

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…

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23 comments on “Slow Cooked Brisket with Onions

  1. movita beaucoup
    November 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    We woke to a dusting of snow this morning – barely there, but a sign of things to come. This would be perfect on a cold fall day!

  2. cookinginsens
    November 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Looks delicious. I would love a bowl of mashed potatoes covered with your sauce.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you, Rosemary. Don’t worry; mashed potatoes was had.

  3. Chica Andaluza
    November 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Fabulous – I bought a slow cooker in the summer and it’s becoming my favouriite cooking method right now. I love dishes like this!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      I’m tempted to invest – I’m not the biggest fan, but for this sort of stuff it’s very convenient.

      • Chica Andaluza
        November 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm

        I biought mine at a car boot because I was temporarily without an oven and I’m so glad I did – I use it at least once a week now!

  4. countrywoodsmoke
    November 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Love the way you have cooked this,I tend to take brisket a little further so the meat falls apart, but that takes a good 12 hours at 120c.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you, Marcus. I’m afraid I haven’t the time to invest in that way :). Though perhaps I will over Christmas!

  5. Susan
    November 18, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Sounds great – I love sticky meaty onions. I do something similar with oxtails. 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      I have oxtails on my to eat list and should be cooking some very soon! 😀

  6. exploretoday2014
    November 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    What a great blog! Mouth watering posts- can’t wait to dive in and try those recipes. Goes to show that you don’t have to scrimp on amazing flavours when you cook economically. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 23, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you! My pleasure. I hope you pop back over.

  7. Nemo
    November 19, 2014 at 10:41 am

    LookS ummy

  8. grainnep
    November 20, 2014 at 7:29 am

    This sounds lovely. I love slow cooking meats, it makes for a lovely family get together

    • frugalfeeding
      November 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      It does indeed – I’ll be doing it more as the winter progresses!

  9. amcarmen
    December 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I am salivating over your photographs! These look so good!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you – I was very pleased with them 🙂

  10. exoticanddomesticwoodart
    December 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm


  11. anna @ annamayeveryday
    December 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Looks fabulous, I love slow cooked brisket, so cosy and satisfying (and cheap).

    • frugalfeeding
      December 8, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Absolutely, nice and fatty – just what you need in the winter.

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