When I think of the ultimate comfort meal, my mind immediately goes to brisket. In this red wine and honey braised brisket recipe, I'm teaching you my secrets to getting the best, juicy, and tender braised brisket.
It's not just a Passover and Rosh Hashanah staple, but a great dish all year round.
Why this recipe makes the brisket tender and juicy
Cooking brisket low and slow in the braising liquid for several hours really breaks down the meat and results in a tender, juicy brisket.
Finishing this brisket in the oven helps maintain the proper temperature to keep the liquid from boiling and drying out the brisket.
We sear the outside of the brisket to seal in the juices during the cooking process.
This recipe removes the hard fat on the brisket, leaving the soft fat to keep the brisket juicy during the cooking process.
Note: If you're looking for a leaner brisket, make it the day before you intend to eat it, allow it to cool, and then put it in the refrigerator. This step means that all the excess fat floats to the surface and makes it so easy to skim off and remove. Then you can easily reheat it in the oven or slow cooker and enjoy a less fatty brisket.
Ingredients & Substitutions
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If you're looking for an easy brisket with fewer ingredients, check out this Easy Slow-Cooker Brisket.
Brisket - You can use a brisket anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 pounds without changing any of the other ingredients in this recipe.
Note: Grass-finished brisket is naturally leaner and will yield a less juicy braised brisket. Wagyu brisket does just the opposite but isn't necessary for this recipe to be delicious.
Vegetable oil - You can substitute with another flavorless oil like canola but don't use a flavored oil like olive oil.
Red wine - I always recommend using a dry, red wine that you like to drink to make the best-tasting brisket, rather than a sugary red wine.
Beef bouillon - You can use bouillon or stock concentrate in this recipe.
Chili - I like to use dried chilis that I keep in my pantry for this recipe like ancho, Thai, or cayenne. You can also use fresh chilis like jalapeño or serrano to add a little kick.
How to make this recipe
First, preheat the oven to 325F. Season the brisket with 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of pepper on both sides.
Note: If you are using kosher brisket, use 1 instead of 2 tablespoons of salt.
Next, heat ¼ cup of the flavorless oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket on both sides until brown in color, then set the brisket aside.
Note: Do not cook the brisket too long on each side or it will dry out. Just get it brown to seal in the juices.
In the same pan that you seared the brisket, add the diced onions, fennel, and celery to the oil that is left in the pan. Cook the vegetables until brown, then add in the garlic and ginger. Cook for about one minute until aromatic.
Next, add in the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, then add in the orange juice, honey, red wine, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise, and dried or fresh chilis.
Note: Dried ancho or cayenne work great in this recipe, or you can add a fresh jalapeño or serrano sliced in half lengthwise for a little kick.
Simmer the mixture until the alcohol from the red wine has burned off. Then you will return the brisket to the pan. Remember that the brisket needs to be covered by the cooking liquid so add in the beef bouillon with some water or beef broth until the brisket is completely covered.
Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and roast the brisket for about 3 hours until the brisket is fork tender. How long this takes will depend on the size of the brisket that you use.
Cooking Times: Brisket takes about 30-60 minutes per pound. Check your 3-pound brisket after 2.5 hours, 4-pound brisket after 3 hours, and 5-pound brisket after 3.5 hours.
Skim the excess fat sitting on the surface of the braising liquid. Remove the brisket from the braising liquid and place it on a cutting board. Let the brisket rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Making this in advance? Refrigerate the brisket overnight. The next day, remove the excess fat from the liquid.
Strain the vegetables from the braising liquid.
Simmer the braising liquid on the stovetop over medium heat until it has been reduced to about half the amount.
Gently slice the brisket across the grain of the meat and cover it with the reduced brazing sauce.
Top with the chopped vegetables and a few ladles of the sauce, and enjoy your tender and fresh brisket!
This crucial step makes the meat tender and juicy, because it allows the juice and connective tissue to cool down and solidify. If you cut it right away all the tasty juice will run right out and be wasted.
Cutting against the grain allows the meat to flake apart easily when you bite into it. Brisket meat is made of muscle fibers that are very strong. You can clearly see the line of grain running through the piece of meat, and if you cut a long them, each piece of brisket will be hard to bite and pull apart.
I love pairing brisket with fresh green veggies like asparagus and Brussels sprouts. It also goes really well with mashed potatoes and a salad.
Looking for more delicious Jewish recipes that hit the comfort spot? Feast your eyes on these incredible options!
And if you're craving more meat recipes, peruse them here.
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Red Wine and Honey Braised Brisket
- 3.5 lb. beef brisket hard fat trimmed off, can use up to 5.5 lbs.*
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt see note**
- 1 large onion cut in large dice
- 2 heads fennel cut into large dice
- 3 large celery stalks cut into large dice
- 8 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped ginger
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 lb. honey 1.5 cups
- 1 bottle Red wine
- 1 unsalted beef bouillon dissolved in water if needed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 dried ancho pepper or Thai chili, or use one fresh jalapeño or serrano for a kick
- Preheat to 325F.
- Salt and pepper both sides of the brisket.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large pan over medium-high.
- Sear brisket on both sides until brown. Set brisket aside.
- In the same pan add the onions, fennel and celery. Brown the vegetables, then add garlic and ginger. Cook for ~1 minute.
- Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves, then add orange juice, honey, red wine, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise and chili.
- Allow the alcohol from the red wine to burn off. Return the brisket to the pan. The brisket needs to be covered by liquid, so add unsalted beef stock (or bouillon dissolved in water) until covered.
- Cover and roast for about 3 hours*** until the brisket is fork tender. (Depends on the size of the brisket.)
- Skim the excess fat sitting on the surface of the braising liquid. Remove the brisket from the braising liquid and place it on a cutting board. Let the brisket rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Strain the vegetables from the braising liquid.
- Simmer the braising liquid on the stovetop over medium heat until it has been reduced to about half the amount.
- Gently slice the brisket across the grain of the meat and cover it with the reduced brazing sauce.
- Top with the chopped vegetables and a few ladles of the sauce, and enjoy your tender and fresh brisket!
This post was originally published in April of 2017 but was republished with new photos, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and tips in October of 2022.
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