Braised Brisket & Roots

Braised Brisket & Roots

This braised brisket gets a decidedly wintery feel from the earthy-sweet flavors of carrots, parsnips and rutabaga.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds flat, first-cut brisket, (see Note), trimmed
3 medium onions, sliced
6 allspice berries, or pinch of ground allspice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or ¾ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry vermouth, or dry white wine
3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
4 medium carrots, peeled
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cored (see Tip)
1 medium rutabaga, (about ¾ pound), peeled (see Tip)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons arrowroot, or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons water

Preparation

Active 1 h 15 m | Ready in 5 h 30 m

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add brisket and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside. 
  2. Add onions to the pot; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in allspice, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and bay leaves, then pour in vermouth (or wine). Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes. 
  3. Stir in broth and return the brisket to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 1½ hours. Meanwhile, cut carrots, parsnips and rutabaga into 2-by- ½-inch sticks. 
  4. Transfer brisket to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard bay leaves and allspice berries (if using). Stir mustard into the sauce. Add the carrots, parsnips and rutabaga. Return the brisket to the pot; cover and bake for 1 hour more. 
  5. Test vegetables and brisket for tenderness by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife. As they get done, transfer to a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and set aside. If necessary, continue to cook, testing for doneness every 20 minutes. Total cooking time for the brisket may range from 2½ to 5 hours, depending on the particular piece of meat. 
  6. Skim fat from the sauce. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce and intensify flavors. Dissolve arrowroot in 1 tablespoon water (or cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water); add to the simmering sauce and cook, stirring constantly, just until thickened, about 10 seconds. 
  7. Slice the brisket thinly against the grain and arrange slices on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables around the brisket. Spoon half the sauce over the meat and vegetables; pass remaining sauce separately.

Note: Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty. But the flat, first-cut section is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier point cut. Don't worry about a first-cut's being tough—there's enough juice in this melange of root vegetables to keep the meat moist, no matter how lean it is.

Tips: Prep parsnips by peeling and removing the fibrous, woody core.

To peel a rutabaga, cut off one end to create a flat surface to keep it steady. Cut off the skin with your knife, following the contour of the bulb. Or use a vegetable peeler and peel around the bulb at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 3 ounces meat, 1 cup vegetables, ¼ cup sauce | Recipe makes 8 servings

Per serving: 275 calories; 6 g fat(2 g sat); 5 g fiber; 19 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 65 mcg folate; 76 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 5,257 IU vitamin A; 21 mg vitamin C; 71 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 436 mg sodium; 860 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (105% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1½


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