Saffron and Fennel Beef Braised Brisket

Saffron and Fennel Beef Braised Brisket
  • Servings: 8=10
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time:

    Ingredients Print Recipe

  • 3+ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 lb. piece of brisket (can be slightly larger or smaller)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup water


Brisket is one of those larger cuts of meat that needs to have low and slow cooking to tenderize it. During the long cooking process, the meat absorbs the flavors it's cooking with, to yield a full-flavored dish. The long cooking process also gives the meat an irresistible final textureso be sure to be patient as it cooks!

1. Preheat oven to 300�F.

2. Heat oil in a heavy-duty roasting pan or very large pot (big enough to brown the brisket) over high heat.

3. Season both sides of brisket with salt and black pepper. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the brisket into the roasting pan. Brown both sides of the brisket, approximately 6 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and reserve.

4. Return the pan to the stove over moderate heat. Add onion and celery to the pan. Stir the onions to distribute the seasonings and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan (add more oil if necessary). Continue cooking until the onions and celery are soft and brown around the edges, about 8 minutes.

5. Return the browned brisket to the pan and add garlic, thyme, fennel, saffron, tomato sauce, red wine, and water. Bring to a boil.

6. Tightly cover the pan either with the lid or heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in oven.

7. Cook for 3 � to 4 hours, or until the brisket is tender.

8. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the brisket. Skim fat from the top of the liquid. If desired, the cooking liquid can be thickened with a mixture of 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1-2 Tablespoons cold water. If the cornstarch is added to the liquid, the liquid must be boiled for it to thicken. (Caution: A little cornstarch goes a long way. Add it a little at a time, boiling the liquid between each addition to see how much it thickens.)

9. To serve, slice the brisket across the grain into �-inch slices. Serve with plenty of sauce.
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