This supremely savory, tender brisket tastes like one my Eastern European grandmother would have made if she had access to an Asian pantry.
Makes 8 servings This supremely savory, tender brisket tastes like one my Eastern European grandmother would have made if she had access to an Asian pantry. It has the deep tomato essence and piles of sweet caramelized onions that made hers so tasty, but this recipe layers that flavor with a Chinese five-spice rub, and a distinctively Asian soy-ginger-garlic sauce that clings luxuriously to the meat.
For the rub:
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- One 3 1/2-lb brisket, first-cut or flat-half, trimmed of all excess fat
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, such as sriracha
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons Chinese mustard or Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, or other neutral tasting oil
- 1 large onion, sliced into halfmoons
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
To make the rub, in a small bowl combine the sugar, onion powder, salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, and cayenne pepper. Rub it all over the brisket and set it aside as you prepare the sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of water, the tomato paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, ginger, mustard, and sesame oil.
Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy roasting pan over medium heat. Add the brisket and cook until golden, about 6 minutes per side, turning once. (It is fine, good even, if the meat becomes slightly charred.) Transfer the meat to a large plate or board. Add the onion to the pot and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate browned bits, until the onions are softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the brisket to the pot and add the sauce along with 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly, transfer to the oven, and cook until the meat is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, or it may be refrigerated at this stage for up to 4 days.
To continue, cut the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Return the sliced brisket to the sauce and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until warmed through, 10 to 20 minutes. Add water by the tablespoonful to the sauce to loosen it if necessary.
To refrigerate and reheat:
Prior to being sliced, the meat and sauce may be stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Follow the “to continue” directions above to serve. Already-sliced meat may be stored together with the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Total refrigeration time for the cooked meat, sliced or unsliced, should not exceed 4 days. To reheat the sliced meat and sauce, place in a saucepan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through, 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the amount. Alternatively, place in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a spatter guard, and microwave on high for about 1 minute for a single portion.
To freeze and reheat:
- Transfer the sliced meat and sauce to sealable freezer bags in the portions desired and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours, then reheat as above. Or, to thaw quickly, run the bag under hot water for 30 seconds to release the food, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on the defrost setting for about 6 minutes, then microwave another 1 minute on high to warm through for a single serving.
About 4 slices meat and 3 tablespoons sauce; Per serving: Calories 350; Total Fat 15g (Mono Fat 8.1g, Poly Fat 2g, Sat Fat 4.1g); Protein 43g; Carb 11g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 135mg; Sodium 720mg; Excellent source of: Iron, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc; Good source of: Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamin