There are many slow-cooking recipes that call for wine or beer to be used in the braising liquid. In this recipe I use Guinness. Its richness and sweetness pairs well with the spices and coffee in this recipe. It truly is a great choice for stews and braises but if you have your own favourite local stout, by all means go with that. Added benefit – you get to drink a couple of pints while the braise is in the oven. Wins all over!
4-5 lbs beef brisket, preferably from the flat end
½ tsp celery seed
¼ tsp coriander seed
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground clove
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp ground pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, large, peeled and roughly diced
1 tbsp butter
3 carrots, peeled and roughly diced
3 stalks celery, washed and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp instant coffee powder (or 1 shot of espresso)
1 can Guinness
1 L beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 branches parsley
4 branches thyme
1 branch rosemary
3 bay leaves
to taste salt and pepper
½ tbsp flour
½ tbsp butter
1 tbsp English mustard (or Dijon)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Mix the spices together for the dry rub, then apply them all over the brisket. Rub the brisket with the oil, then put it on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in the oven and cook until brown all over, about thirty minutes. When browned, remove from oven, and turn the oven down to 325°F.
Meanwhile, in a large pot over a medium heat, sweat the onions in the butter until softened. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Continue sweating until fragrant and slightly caramelized. Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the instant coffee and Guinness, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the Guinness by half, then add the beef stock. Tie the herbs together in a bundle and drop into the pot. Add the brisket back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for three hours, or until the brisket is fork tender.
Remove the brisket from the pot and let it rest on a plate, covered with tin foil. Strain the solids out of the sauce, then place the sauce back on a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix the butter and flour together, and whisk the mixture into the sauce to thicken. Whisk in the mustard, then taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
Slice the brisket and serve with the sauce on the side.