When I ask for dinner suggestions from the men in my family, beef is almost always at the top of the list: ribeyes on the grill, hamburgers, pot roast, short ribs—pretty much any beef will do. One of their favorites is this oven-roasted brisket. You can use a smoker if you have one, but since I’m the one doing the cooking I hate using the smoker and prefer the oven. This is a foolproof way to cook a brisket—even if you don’t consider yourself an accomplished cook, you can’t mess this up. I promise!
Start with a 4-5 lb. brisket and coat the outside with a little olive oil and then a basic rub: garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Use most of the rub on the side without the fat cap.
Slice a few onions and spread them in the bottom of the roasting pan. This picture is light on the onions, so don’t go by this—add about three more. They will cook down and give so much flavor to the broth and the meat. And when you take the meat out of the oven, people will hover just to eat those onions. They are so good!
Place the meat on top of the onions with the fat cap on top. Then mix up beef consomme, dark beer, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar and pour over the meat. Chop several cloves of garlic, and spread the chopped garlic on top of the brisket.
I’m not a fan of liquid smoke, although a lot of people use that on oven roasted beef. I think it tastes artificial (perhaps because it is…). But, I like to get a smoked taste even though I’m not using the smoker, so I soak hickory chips in water for about half an hour and then wrap them in tin foil and place around the brisket. This gives just enough smoky flavor to the meat.
Place four or five packs of wood chips around the brisket and then cover the whole thing tightly with foil. Cook on 300° for five to six hours, or until tender enough to pull apart with a fork. This will be just about the time you absolutely can’t take it anymore and must have whatever is producing that wonderful garlicky scent in your kitchen.
The meat will be tender and flavored with onion and garlic and hickory. Your kitchen will smell divine and people will wander in off the street wanting to sample what it is they’re smelling. And you will be lauded as a great cook when all you really did was throw some meat in the oven and read a book for six hours. It’s a great concept, trust me.
- 2 cups hickory chips
- 1 4.5-5 lb brisket
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 1 can beef consomme
- 1 bottle dark beer
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Soak hickory chips in water for thirty minutes prior to preparing brisket.
- After soaking, use about four pieces of foil and make packets with the hickory chips. Leave an opening at the top so smoke can get out.
- Spread olive oil on side of brisket without fat.
- Mix rub ingredients together and spread over the olive oil. Pat lightly to make the rub stick. (You may not need all the rub, just use your judgement.)
- Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the pan.
- Turn the brisket so the fat side is facing up, and place over the onions.
- Mix the liquid ingredients together and pour over the brisket and onions.
- Spread the chopped garlic over the top of the brisket.
- Place the packets of hickory chips around the brisket.
- Cover tightly with foil and roast for five or six hours, until tender enough to pull apart with a fork.