This beef brisket in the oven is so tender, juicy and delicious, you will fall in love at first bite. It will take several hours to cook it at low temperature in the oven, with an amazing balsamic sauce. This recipe is perfect for holidays or any other family dinner!
What is brisket?
This cut of beef comes from breast of a cow, where the pectoral muscles are located. Because cows stand for long periods of time, those muscles are very strong, with lots of connective tissue.
Since it’s such a tough cut of meat, beef brisket requires slow cooking with low heat. This is why you’ll often see recipes for brisket in the oven, a slow cooker, and smoker.
Since not everyone can have an access to a smoker, oven is my favorite alternative. Slow cooker is just much too small for a full size brisket or a larger sized flat. That’s why the oven is a lot more flexible.
SIZE AND CUT
Beef brisket is a large cut, generally between 12 and 20 pounds. Butchers typically cut it into two sections; the flat and the point. Sometimes the flat is cut again to create smaller pieces.
The flat has more meat and is much leaner, while the point has a large fat cap on top and a small layer of fat in the middle. The layer of fat in the middle actually separates the flat and the point.
When you shop for it at the grocery store, you may only see the flat for sale. This is because it’s a leaner cut of meat and much more preferred by the public. But you have to remember that leaner meat means not as juicy and tender.
The point includes a lot of marbled fat, so while it doesn’t look as pretty on a serving platter, it is very juicy and tender!
My personal preference is to cook the whole brisket when possible. This will give you enough fat to seep into the flat and make it juicy. You can also separate the point after it’s done and pull it for pulled brisket sandwiches.
When buying the flat, try to pick out the one that has a decent layer of fat on top. This will help make it juicy and tender.
Cooking Brisket In The Oven
Whether I’m making it in the oven or on the smoker, I always give my brisket about 12 hours rubbed with salt or seasoning. Since we are cooking this brisket in sauce, salt is the only thing we will use to rub.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: You’ll want to use a roasting pan that will fit your brisket comfortably. Avoid trying to squeeze the meat into a smaller pan, because it prevents air and heat from circulating around the brisket.
Balsamic Sauce Ingredients
Of course, the meat is delicious on its own, but with a sauce (or gravy), it tastes out of this world! There are two vinegars in the base for my brisket sauce; balsamic and red wine vinegar.
The remaining ingredients are just basic spices for seasoning. In addition, you’ll also need beef broth or stock, plus some oil and flour to help thicken the balsamic sauce.
How To Prepare Brisket For The Oven
1. SALT RUB THE BEEF.
The salt rub needs to stay on for at about 12 hours. To make it convenient, I like to marinate the beef right in the roasting pan that I use to cook it. This way, it’s ready to go straight into the oven the next day.
NOTE: make sure to keep your brisket fat cap up when salting the meat and cooking.
For easier cleanup, line the pan with sheets of aluminum foil. After you place the meat into the pan, sprinkle the salt evenly over all sides of the meat and pat it in. Then, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and place it into the refrigerator for about 12 hours.
2. BRING THE BEEF TO ROOM TEMPERATURE.
Because tendons and connective tissue tighten up when they’re cold, it’s important to bring the beef to room temperature before you cook it. I recommend pulling it from the fridge an hour or so before cookin.
This is the perfect time to prepare the balsamic brisket gravy.
3. MAKE BALSAMIC SAUCE.
- Sauté onions and garlic. To prevent the garlic from burning, sauté your onions before adding the garlic. I like to nestle the garlic inside of a well in the center of the onions.
- Make the sauce. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir completely to coat them. Then, slowly pour in the vinegars and stock, while slowly stirring. Mix in the seasonings and bring to simmer. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Blend the gravy. After the gravy thickens, you’ll want to process it in a high speed blender or food processor to make it smooth. If you have an immersion blender, you can use that directly in the pan.
NOTE: If your blender or food processor doesn’t have venting holes, be sure to allow the gravy to cool a bit before blending it. Pressure from the hot steam has to come out through the venting holes or it will blow off the lid.
4. COOK BRISKET IN OVEN.
Spread some balsamic sauce under the brisket and pour the rest of the sauce over it. Bring the foil up and around the brisket to create a pocket.
If the foil sheets don’t cover it completely, you may need to cover with another sheet of foil on top and tuck it under.
Cook the brisket for about an hour per pound. So this 6-pound brisket will cook initially for about 6 hours covered in foil.
Then, open the foil and cook another 45-60 minutes.
TIP: For the juiciest beef brisket, allow the meat to rest on a cutting board for about 20 minutes before carving. Tent it with foil to keep it warm.
While brisket is resting, slightly reduce the sauce. Collect all the sauce leftover in the pan into a sauce pot. Bring it to simmer over medium heat and let it simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Make sure to slice the brisket against the grain and serve with the sauce.
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Oven Baked Beef Brisket with Balsamic Sauce
- 6 lb beef brisket flat
- 3 tbsp coarse salt
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 large yellow onions
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- black pepper
Prepare the brisket:
- Use two long sheets of aluminum foil to place them in the bottom of a roasting pan side by side but overlapping. Make sure the roasting pan fits the brisket nicely, not too bit and not too small.
- Take brisket flat out of the package, lay it in the roasting pan fat cap up and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Season it with salt all over and pat it in evenly. Wrap brisket in a couple of layers of foil, covering it tight.
- Refrigerate the brisket overnight or up to 12 hours. Take the brisket out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking it, unwrap and let it get to room temperature.
- Slice all onions thinly, peel and chop garlic, shave and mince ginger, and measure the rest of ingredients.
- Preheat a Dutch oven or another pot over medium heat and add some oil. Add onions and cook until completely softened.
- Make a little well in the middle of onions and add garlic to the center. Let is saute until fragrant and mix it in.
- Sprinkle flour all over the onions and stir to coat them completely.
- Start pouring in balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar while stirring slowly but constantly. Pour in beef stock while still stirring.
- Add bay leaves, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Keep stirring slowly and the sauce comes to simmer and thickens.
- Let the sauce cook for a few minutes.
- Carefully transfer the sauce into a food processor or a blender and blend until smooth. (Depending on a food processor or a blender, you may need to wait until the sauce is cooled a little if it doesn't have a vapor cover or a flap for the steam to escape.)
Making the brisket:
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Spread some sauce under the brisket and pour the rest of the sauce over it. Close the foil around the brisket to create a pocket. If the foil sheets don't cover it completely, you may need to cover with another sheet of foil on top and tuck it under.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 6 hours. (Estimate your cooking time based on the weight of your brisket. It will take about an hour per pound.)
- Open the foil and cook for another 45-60 minutes uncovered.
- Take the roasting pan out of the oven and take the brisket out of the pan and onto a cutting board. NOTE: be careful, the brisket will be tender. So use large spatulas or tongs as needed.Loosely tent it with a sheet of foil and let the brisket rest for about 15-20 minutes before slicing.
- While brisket is resting, finish the sauce.
- Pour all of the leftover sauce from the roasting pan into a sauce pot. Bring it to simmer over medium-low heat and simmer for about ten minutes.
- Use a sharp knife to slice across the grain when ready.