Cooking brisket in the slow cooker is brilliant—flavorful sauce, meltingly tender beef, and very little effort. And since braised meat only gets better as it sits, we recommend making this the day before you’re going to serve it. Simply trim off the excess fat and blend the sauce in advance, then slice and reheat just before serving.
one 4 lb. brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more as needed)
½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons flour
5 sprigs thyme
1 cup red wine
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup tomato sauce or strained tomatoes (we use pomi brand)
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt + extra for seasoning the brisket
pepper to taste
1. Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a very large sauté pan or roasting pan over medium high heat, add the oil, and sear the brisket on both sides until nicely browned.
3. Remove the brisket to a 6.5 quart slow cooker to rest and add the next five ingredients to the pan (add a little more olive oil if the pan looks dry). Sauté for five minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to brown.
4. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring to mix well. Add the flour and cook another minute, stirring well. Add the red wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, or until the alcohol smell has cooked off.
5. Add the balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and the tablespoons of salt and bring up to a simmer.
Pour the mixture into the slow cooker, set to slow cook high and cook for 6 hours.
6. Remove the brisket and trim off any excess fat. Remove the thyme sprigs and blend the sauce with an immersion blender.
7. Slice the brisket and serve with sauce on top.
Originally featured in Souped-Up Latkes and Three Other Takes on Hanukkah Classics