This braised brisket gets a decidedly wintery feel from the earthy-sweet flavors of carrots, parsnips and rutabaga.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 pounds flat, first-cut brisket, (see Note), trimmed
- 3 medium onions, sliced
- 6 allspice berries, or pinch of ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dry vermouth, or dry white wine
- 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 4 medium carrots, peeled
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cored (see Tip)
- 1 medium rutabaga, (about 3/4 pound), peeled (see Tip)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot, or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Step 1
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add brisket and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
- Step 2
- Add onions to the pot; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in allspice, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and bay leaves, then pour in vermouth (or wine). Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Step 3
- Stir in broth and return the brisket to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cut carrots, parsnips and rutabaga into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks.
- Step 4
- Transfer brisket to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard bay leaves and allspice berries (if using). Stir mustard into the sauce. Add the carrots, parsnips and rutabaga. Return the brisket to the pot; cover and bake for 1 hour more.
- Step 5
- Test vegetables and brisket for tenderness by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife. As they get done, transfer to a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and set aside. If necessary, continue to cook, testing for doneness every 20 minutes. Total cooking time for the brisket may range from 2 1/2 to 5 hours, depending on the particular piece of meat.
- Step 6
- Skim fat from the sauce. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce and intensify flavors. Dissolve arrowroot in 1 tablespoon water (or cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water); add to the simmering sauce and cook, stirring constantly, just until thickened, about 10 seconds.
- Step 7
- Slice the brisket thinly against the grain and arrange slices on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables around the brisket. Spoon half the sauce over the meat and vegetables; pass remaining sauce separately.
Note: Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty. But the flat, first-cut section is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier point cut. Don’t worry about a first-cut’s being tough—there’s enough juice in this melange of root vegetables to keep the meat moist, no matter how lean it is. Tips: Prep parsnips by peeling and removing the fibrous, woody core. To peel a rutabaga, cut off one end to create a flat surface to keep it steady. Cut off the skin with your knife, following the contour of the bulb. Or use a vegetable peeler and peel around the bulb at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.
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