Spice-Rubbed Braised Brisket
With its assertive coffee and spice rub, this brisket cooks long enough to become very tender. A final sear under the broiler thickens the sauce into a glaze for the top. This recipe calls for the lean first cut, also known as the flat cut, and works with the much fattier second cut, sometimes labeled the point cut or deckle. This dish is delicious the day it’s made, but tastes even better prepared ahead of time. After chilling, the meat is easier to slice and the fat a snap to remove.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2tablespoons finely ground coffee
- 1tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1teaspoon ground coriander
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½teaspoons kosher salt
- 1(4- to 5-pound) first-cut brisket
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1large onion, sliced
- 6garlic cloves, peeled
- ½cup dry red wine
- 1 ½cups pomegranate juice
- 1cup chicken stock or water
- 1 ½pounds cipollini onions or small shallots, peeled
- 1cup lightly packed Italian parsley leaves with tender stems
- 1teaspoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 2teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½cup pomegranate seeds
- Mashed potatoes, for serving
Step 1Make the brisket: Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the coffee, smoked paprika, coriander, garlic powder, cinnamon, pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well and rub all over the brisket.
Step 2Heat a large Dutch oven over medium. Add the oil and brown the brisket, taking care not to burn the spices, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Step 3Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add sliced onion, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 4Add the red wine, scrape up any brown bits and reduce the liquid by half. Add the pomegranate juice and stock. Bring to a simmer and return the brisket to the pot with the fatty-side up. Cover with the lid, place in the center of the oven, and braise until fork-tender, about 3 1/2 hours, basting every hour or so.
Step 5Uncover and nestle the cipollini onions in the liquid. Cover and braise in the oven for another 45 minutes. The meat should be very tender. Uncover and carefully transfer the meat to a cutting board. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
Step 6Meanwhile, scoop the cipollini onions into a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour the sauce into a fat separator or a tall container and remove as much fat as you can. Pour the sauce back into the pot, slice the meat and return it to the pot along with the onions, using a brush or spoon to encourage the sauce between the slices. Heat the broiler with the rack 8 inches from the heat source.
Step 7Partly cover the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer until the meat is completely warmed through. Remove the lid and transfer the Dutch oven to the broiler. Broil, basting a few times, until the sauce thickens and the top is glazed, about 8 minutes.
Step 8To serve, dress the parsley with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle over top along with the pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.