While a cow is alive and walking around, its lower chest muscle has to support over half its body weight. When you’re talking about an animal that weighs half a ton on the low end, that’s a lot of work! Unsurprisingly, that same chest muscle – which we know as the “brisket” – can be stringy and dry if it’s not cooked correctly. But good things come to those who wait. Like the chuck, the brisket is a hidden treasure that shows its true colors for the benefit of a patient cook (or in this case, a patient slow-cooker).
This recipe takes advantage of the slow-cooker not just to cook the brisket to perfection, but also to infuse the whole recipe with the flavors of fall vegetables and savory spices. Beau Monde seasoning is a blend that lends a deep, warm flavor to everything in the pot. It’s optional – the brisket with the vegetables is delicious on its own – but it really takes the recipe from “weeknight dinner” to “weeknight gourmet dinner.” Technically, you can buy it pre-mixed at the store, but you’ll save a lot of money by just putting it together yourself.
If you don’t have absolutely everything for the seasoning blend (or if you don’t like everything in the ingredients list), it’s OK: you can tinker with the spices a little or even leave some of them out. The seasoning directions will make more than what you need for just one recipe, so you can save it for another day to quickly pull out of the spice cabinet for a flavor boost. It’s a mix you might find yourself reaching for again and again as savory roasts take pride of place on the winter comfort-food menu.
Beef Brisket With Fall Vegetables Recipe
- 2 lbs beef brisket;
- 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces;
- 4 parsnips, sliced;
- 2 celery ribs, sliced;
- 1 large onion, sliced;
- 1 leek, sliced;
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs;
- 2 cups beef stock; (3 cups if not using wine)
- ¾ cup dry red wine; (optional)
- ½ cup tomato puree;
- 2 tbsp. Beau Monde seasoning (directions below); (optional)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced;
- ¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped;
- Cooking fat;
- Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
Beau Monde Seasoning
- 1 tbsp. ground cloves;
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon;
- 1 tbsp. ground bay leaf;
- 1 tbsp. ground allspice;
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg;
- 1 tsp. celery seed;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black black pepper to taste;
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the Beau Monde seasoning.
- Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat some cooking fat over a medium-high heat in a large skillet and brown the beef on each side for about 4 minutes.
- Transfer beef to a slow cooker.
- Add the carrot, parsnips, celery, onion, and leek.
- In a bowl, mix together the beef stock, red wine (if using), tomato puree, garlic, thyme sprigs, parsley, and Beau Monde seasoning.
- Pour the mixture over the beef and vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours or until tender.
- Serve warm with the vegetables.