This Braised Brisket Stew Recipe is the epitome of comfort food! It's warm, cozy, filled with tender meat, and a sauce full of vegetables that have taken on its delicious flavor. And we'll learn how to cut brisket perfectly.
During the cooler months, my mom made this stew a couple of times a month, at least. It was sort of her signature dish . . . .
The mere thought of cooking something slowly in the oven all day gets me excited. I know, quirky. Or just someone who loves the entire process of cooking.
Making something like this beef brisket stew is my favorite type of cooking. I'm talking about cooking that is slow and that completely transforms ingredients from their original state into something totally different, that's of course incredibly flavorful and delicious.
What is Brisket?
- Brisket is a cut of beef from the chest of the animal.
- An entire brisket is made up of two muscles that overlap.
- Brisket is a very tough cut of meat that needs hours of cooking time to become tender. Once it does, brisket is unbelievably delicious and it will melt-in-your-mouth.
The key to how to cut brisket perfectly is to slice against the grain.
How to Cut Brisket
- Once a brisket is cooked, place it on a large plate to cool slightly.
- Use the back of a knife or a spoon to gently scrape off the fat and discard it.
- Place the meat on a cutting board and cut it into thin (about ½-inch) slices -- against the grain! If a brisket is not cut against the grain, it will almost completely fall apart.
Do you see how tender that is!? The slices are almost -- but not quite -- falling apart. And when all of the other goodies are added, it does actually fall apart into bite-sized pieces. Perfect.
While this beef brisket stew recipe is a brilliant addition to a Hanukkah or another holiday dinner, it's also perfect for a super cozy, casual dinner party. Or any night!
This is the type of stew you can make ahead and still wonderful -- perhaps even better.
*You can make Braised Brisket Stew up 4 days ahead of time.*
What to Serve with Brisket
I love to serve this beef brisket stew recipe over something like this Creamy Gorgonzola Polenta.
Or you can serve it over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or -- my favorite way -- with a thick, crusty, slice of roasted garlic bread.
The brisket stew sauce is relatively thin -- it's not a gravy-like consistency, which is why it's lovely to have something to eat it with, something to gather any of the sauce left in the plate.
I love making this in my 12-inch cast iron skillet, because I can do every step of the cooking in it -- from the stove to the oven, and I can even serve from it.
Really, any way you serve this, it will be absolutely scrumptious. It's perfect for Cooking On The Weekends! 😉
Can you make this ahead?
Yes! It only gets better with time. You can make it up to four days ahead of time.
This is the way my mom always made and served her beef brisket -- for as long as I can remember. She always winged it. And she winged it perfectly!
After years of interrogating her about her method (well, her method of winging it), I created this scrumptious recipe.
Enjoy every last bite of this amazing beef brisket stew!
What is exactly is a comfort food? Read this article to find out!
More scrumptious Brisket Recipes:
Braised Brisket Stew Recipe
- 1 (2 ½ pound) beef brisket
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- olive oil for the pan
- 1½ cups Pearl onions, peeled
- 1 cup Peewee potatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
- 2 cups carrots, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 teaspoons dry thyme
- 1¼ cup beef stock
- ¾ cup red wine
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250°F, and lightly coat a large oven safe skillet (12-inch, cast iron is perfect) -- or a large Dutch oven, with olive oil.
- There will be a relatively thick layer of fat on one side of the brisket. Leave it! Rub the entire brisket where there isn't fat, with the Worcestershire sauce, coating it evenly, and then season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the brisket, fat side up in the oil coated pan, and cover it with a fitted lid or heavy-duty foil. Place the brisket in the preheated oven for 6 hours.
- Remove the brisket from the oven, and place it on a large plate. (Leave the juices in the pan!) Let the brisket cool slightly, and then use the back of a knife or a spoon to gently scrape off the fat and discard it.
- Place the meat on a cutting board and cut it into thin (about ½-inch) slices -- against the grain! Set aside. *You can do all of the above 1 day ahead of the below, if desired. If you do, after the meat cools to room temperature, cover it tightly and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Turn the oven up to 300°F.
- Place the pan with the brisket juices on the stove over medium-high heat. If the juices are excessive, remove enough so that the bottom of the pan is just lightly coated. And save what you've removed for later! Add the onions and once they're beginning to brown, add the potatoes and carrots. Cook the vegetables until they are all nicely browned, about 7 minutes.
- Mix the thyme into the vegetables, and move them to the sides of the pan and use a large, flat-bottomed spatula to return the sliced brisket to the center of the pan.
- Pour the stock, wine and the set aside pan juices, over the meat and vegetables and cover the pan. Place in the preheated oven and cook until the meat is extremely tender and the vegetables are soft, about 1 hour.
- Stir in the peas, season generously with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Here's How to season to Taste.)
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I think this would be great in a crockpot. That said, believe it or not, I don't have a crockpot and haven't tried it this way. My assumption is that you could follow another stew recipe for a crockpot and add these ingredients accordingly. 🙂
excellent question -- yes, i always ask to have one cut in half! or, double the recipe and eat it for a couple of weeks! 😉
I made this recipe today. Very quick to get started. 5 min of prep and in the brisket went for 6 hours. I was able to find a 2.1 lb brisket that was already in the meat case by the butcher. I added turnips in place of 1/2 potatoes. I also added a bay leaf during the last hour of cooking. Served it with dinner rolls to soak up the wonderful juices!
Rachel, I'm so happy this recipe was easy and delicious! Yay! Happy New Year! 🙂
I over cooked a brisket (left it on the smoker too long) what do you recommend on how to salvage it into this recipe? I was thinking to start with the veggies, oninons ect then adding the meat at the end. The meat 100 percent needs to tender up as its kind of tough. Thank you for your help.
Hi Derrick. Thanks for writing in. If it's really tough still, I'd start with instruction no. 3, but maybe for half of the time, since it's already been in the smoker. And then just carry on with the recipes. If you think it's as tender as it would be after 6 hours of cooking in the very low oven, then start with no. 5. I hope this helps! Enjoy. 🙂 ~Valentina
Oy vey, I wish I didn't find this recipe. It's going to be trouble. I mean the yummy caloric kind, NOT the difficult to make kind. Ugh! I'll definitely be making this in the next few weeks.
Alison, make it! Don't worry about calories! It's yummy and in moderation, good for you, too! 🙂
The Garlic Press
Gorgeous photos! I can't wait to try this recipe!
Can you tell me what PeeWee potatoes are? I never heard of them before. What kind of red wine did you use? Thanks!
Hi Katherine! These potatoes are just very tiny and cute -- often labeled Peewee, and often "baby" potatoes. Here's an example. As for the wine, use a red wine you like to drink -- the alcohol cooks off, not the flavor! (I used a Pinot Noir that I love.) Have fun! 🙂
I made this today & my family loved it. I didn't have pearl onions so I used sweet onions & garlic. Since we're eating paleo I skipped on the potatoes & added thyme as well as other spices, dish went well with roasted brussel sprouts. Great recipe 🙂
Hi Carolyn, I'm so happy to hear your family loved this! I bet it was perfect with the roasted brussels sprouts. 🙂
Living mostly alone with the hot Down Under temps about to hit us may wait until appreciative friends and cooler weather arrive . . . but so clearly remember my Mom making this oft the same way at the other side of the world in the Baltics when I was a child. Well, Worcester sauce may not have been there . . . 🙂 ! It may not quite be American cuisine . . . perhaps Jewish in part . . . ?
Yes it's a traditional Jewish meal -- at least it was in my mom's family. 🙂 Love that your mom made something similar. Well, when the weather cools. . . after it warms up, I guess. Thank you for visiting! ~Valentina
Yes, so many good recipes from my mom! 🙂
David @ Spiced
Mmm...brisket! I love brisket, but we almost always smoke it here at our house. The idea to braise it in a stew sounds wonderful...especially when it's so cold outside! This is like a stepped-up version of classic roast beef. I love it! 🙂
Thanks, David. Roasting brisket sounds super delicious to me!
My husband would love this as I’m sure it’s something his mother made, too. I really should make this one day soon!
Christina, I think you would love it! Thank you. 🙂
Growing up (long ago) brisket was one of the cheaper meat cuts you could buy, so we also had it often. But, I can tell you it never looked as good as yours. I've BBQ'd my share low and slow, but never used the cut in a stew. Now, I've just got to show my butcher what the cut looks like as we don't see it here. I can just smell that stew slow roasting in the oven. Might just try it with pork, I know just the cut i'd use.
Ron, that's practically my favorite part -- the smell of the stew slow roasting! I bet it would be fantastic with pork. Enjoy!
In a word "yum"! I love brisket - whether it's in BBQ or slowly braised it's so good! I love this recipe Valentina - not too heavy or sweet (as they sometimes can be)! And I'm with you - cooking something all day makes me so happy!!!
Here's to cooking all day. 🙂 Enjoy and thank you, Nancy!
I haven’t made brisket in years… Possibly decades! I can’t wait to try this — seriously! With my homemade Worcestershire sauce, this will be phenomenal. Too late for Thanksgiving, but I’ll grab the brisket at the farmers market this weekend (which will come fully frozen) and plan to make it for Christmas. I love every single thing about this recipe, Valentina! ( I especially love the trick of leaving on the fat, then scraping it off when it’s cooked. Brilliant.)
My mom taught me that one. Sometimes she would actually refrigerate it after the 6 hour cooking time, then scrape the fat off the next day. That's actually even easier than doing it right away after cooking. I just don't usually have the patience for that. Ha! Cheers!
Karen (Back Road Journal)
One of my favorite meals...the first time I ever had it was on a visit to my aunt. I really like the idea of serving the brisket with the polenta.
Thanks, Karen. It's SO good when the sauce seeps into the polenta!
Healthy Kitchen 101
hmm so delicious! I always love the combination of meat and vegetables. Every time they give me a sense of wholesome, mouthwatering satisfaction Btw, Wish you a Merry Christmas Valentina and your family too! ❤❤
Thanks so much Natalie! I wish you and yours a very Happy (& Delicious) New Year! 🙂 ~Valentina
Now that the cooler weather has started to arrive in Australia this is just the sort of meal I am looking forward to making.
Not sure if it's just my upbringing or the circles in which I've socialised, but I haven't heard much about brisket in Australia...of course I've heard of it in The States. I'll be chatting to my butcher next shop.
Brisket is one of my favorite meats to make stews with. I grew up with it. Hope you try and find it as comforting and as delicious as my family and I do. 🙂 ~Valentina
I made this today and I was running a bit short on time, so I stopped the initial oven cooking an hour early. That ended up being a mistake! The brisket was incredibly tough after I finished cooking and braising. The time constraint went out the window and I returned the mixture to the oven to braise for another hour, and thankfully it came out deliciously tender! Thanks for the recipe.
Hi David. Thanks for writing in. So happy you were able to squeeze in a little more time and make it work. And so happy you loved it! Hopefully you have leftovers for the week ahead. 🙂 ~Valentina
love all your recipes. have tried many but not this one and i am sure this will turn out great. planning on making it soon!
Hi Sancie! I'm sorry this slipped through the cracks when it arrived. Thank you so much for trying my recipes. I hope you enjoy this one -- it's a big family favorite over here. 🙂 ~Valentina
This might be the only way I’d enjoy brisket. I typically sous vide mine. There’s just something about that texture that I otherwise don’t enjoy. But in a stew? That’s brilliant!
Thank you, Mimi! I really appreciate that. (My mom would too.) And now of course, I'm going to have to sous vide a brisket, because that's sounds awesome, too. 🙂 ~Valentina
Hi, I am new to your site. Plan to try your brisket recipe for Chanukah this year. I love your kitchen .do you have a second kitchen with modern stove and fridge. I would live to see it all.
Hi Carole, Thanks so much for visiting my site, and for writing in. 🙂 I'm so happy you're going to try the brisket. It's definitely one of our favorites in the fall and winter -- especially during the holiday season. My mom made it all the time. The kitchen you see in the photos is actually a detached kitchen at the house I grew up in (where my dad still lives). My mom was a designer and antique collector, and made the detached garage, which is behind the house, into a kitchen for entertaining. I cooked there all through culinary school and still do from time to time. So yes, I also have a modern stove and fridge in the kitchen at my house. I'll email you a photo, you you'd like. Let me know. 🙂 Thank you again and I hope you love the brisket as much as my family does. ~Valentina
P.S. My mom's name was Carole with the E! (She always had to tell everyone "with an E".)
Valentina, thank you so much for this recipe. You saved me! I promised my husband that buying a whole brisket, on sale at the supermarket, would ultimately pay off, even though I’d never cooked a brisket in my life. We butchered it rather badly and this was my second attempt at preparing one of the small roasts - the first did NOT turn out well. Other than cooking it for a bit less time as it was smaller than 2 1/2 pounds, I followed your recipe to a T and it was delicious. Thank you again, we’ll make this often (as we have quite a few roasts left in the freezer!) and I’ll definitely check out your other recipes.
Hi Janet, Thank you so much for sharing this! My mom made this brisket regularly when I was growing up and so it's always been a family favorite. And thanks for visiting my other recipes, too. Enjoy, and I hope you have a great week ahead. 🙂 ~Valentina
Oops, just realized I forgot to rate it - five star for sure!
Why thank you! Much appreciated. 🙂 ~Valentina
Plan to make this recipe for family this weekend.
As this will be a first time prep, would like to make a few days ahead of time. Your
article indicates this is possible. Want to be sure I do not over cook when I reheat.
Please provide proper reheating directions for day of serving.
Thank you so much. Kathleen
Hi Kathleen, thanks for writing. Yes, you can make the recipe all the way through a few days ahead. Once it's done, let it cool room temperature and then put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (If it's in a pot that can fit in the fridge, just put keep it in the pot, with a fitted lid or foil.) Take it out of the fridge a few hours before you want to serve to take the chill out. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and when it's reached that temp., place the pot in the oven, covered, and heat only until it's hot all the way through, about 25 minutes. This is a dish that would be hard to overcook, so don't worry about that. Really, the longer it cooks, the more tender the meat becomes. I hope this helps, and enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina