Oven braised brisket
Comment: There are 3 cuts of brisket. The flat, the point and the whole which has both parts, generally including also a lot of fat.
In the later case, start by watching the 2 videos below on preparing the brisket. In any case, the recipe below is for a 5 lb (2.5 kg) brisket after trimming. Scale accordingly. My brisket was initially 7.5 kg, after removing the liquid and the fat, I was left with more than 5 kg of brisket, so I doubled this recipe. However I could not cook both parts at the same time, so I did it over 2 days.
To prepare the brisket, work on it cold, as fat is easier to cut if a bit firm (cold).
Brisket is better re-heated, so after cooking, it will be sliced, and reserved for later re-heating. It could be frozen or kept until the next (or second) day. While it is cold, we'll skim fat from the sauce if applicable.
If you have a large enough roasting pan to hold the whole brisket, use it for all the steps in the recipe. I don't, so I used a large frying pan to sear the brisket (in several times - difficult, messy), then a large enough aluminum disposable pan for the oven part (in 2 times over 2 days).
If you have a temperature probe, set it to stop the cooking at 90C (195F) internal. Typical cooking time at 150C is ~30 mn/lb = ~70 mn/kg.
Ovens vary: using a typical oven, use 150C (300F), if your oven is of the better variety, 135C (275F) is probably enough, anyhow, this kind of oven will have a temperature probe - be aware that cooking time may be a litle longer, but it does not matter since the brisket is cooked 1 or 2 days in advance.
When making the sauce, add all of the garlic, and enough of the onion for a proper consistency (I had to use about 3/4 and discard the rest). Use a plonger mixer while adding the onion/garlic to nice consistency.
How to trim a brisket-Butcher Style
How to trim a brisket
1 brisket of 5 lb (~2.5 kg)
4 to 6 garlic clove peeled crushed
3 to 4 large onions, peeled and cut in strips
1 can (28 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
a whole bottle of strong red wine, cahors, malbec
3 stalks celery, chopped large enough for easy removal
3 to 4 bay leaves
4 cloves (clous de girofle)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
a few sprigs parsley or just parsley stalks (opt)
4 carrots cut in half
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 dl (3 oz) of cognac (opt)
S + P
Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) or 135C (275F) - see comment.
Chop the onion in slices and spread them on the bottom of the pan.
Trim the fat side of the meat to only a thin layer of fat (~5 mm). Remove any fat from the other side.
Rub salt over the brisket, both sides.
Sear the brisket in a very hot pan on both sides, place it fat side up on the onion layer.
Spread the tomatoes on top of the brisket, make sure to fully cover the meat.
Dispose all the other ingredients around the brisket, along with the wine.
I did not find necessary to cover the meat while cooking.
Place the temperature probe.
Bake for about 3+ hours.
Remove from the oven, brush off the tomatoes on the brisket into the sauce and set the meat aside, covered with a sheet of aluminum foil for at least 20 mn before slicing it.
Sieve and reserve the liquid. Reserve the carrots on one hand to serve separately, and the onion and garlic on the other (messy). Discard all the herbs, celery, peppercorns and cloves.
Skim fat from the sauce if appropriate (place in the fridge for 2 to 3 h for instance).
Add the onions and garlic to the sauce and mix it with a plunger mixer (see comment) to make a nice sauce.
Trim off any extra fat from the brisket (if any) and slice it against the grain. Place the sliced brisket in a dish, along with the sauce, covered, overnight.
The next day, cover, and reheat in a preheated 180C (350F) oven for 45 minutes before serving with enough sauce.