Braised Brisket

I’m sitting here staring at the pictures of this braised brisket wondering where on earth this meal has been all my life. You think I’m being dramatic? Let me confess, just between friends, that this is perhaps the most succulent, delicious way I’ve ever eaten beef in my entire life. No kidding. It is so delicious that I arm wrestled my husband for the privilege of cleaning up the kitchen – not because I was feeling particularly altruistic – but because I knew if I was alone “cleaning up the kitchen” I could continue to snitch pieces of this glorious meat. All in the name of continued sustenance to help with the cleaning up process, of course. It takes a lot of energy to clean up after four little boys and one husband.

Not only is this my first venture into cooking brisket (I’ve always been scared of this particular cut of meat because whenever I see it, the cuts are approximately the size of half a cow…and sorry, but I just feel a little uncomfortable messing around with any piece of meat big enough to outweigh my youngest child), but the rich, flavorful mushroom gravy combined with the absolutely tender, juicy meat rockets this brisket to one of my favorite winter dishes of all time. This recipe, hands-down, holds the secret to the most magnificently delicious gravy I’ve ever tasted.

If you have trouble finding a cut of brisket smaller than your left leg, simply ask the meat counter clerk or butcher for help. They should be able to assist with a smaller brisket roast (a good meat market should come in really handy at this point, but if you don’t have access to one, don’t be afraid to approach your grocery store meat counter – they won’t bite).

What To ServeI served this other-worldly brisket with our favorite Garlic/Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, steamed sweet corn, and our favorite green salad. Best meal ever. Amen.

P.S. Winners of the Silpat and Roul’pat giveaway announced HERE!

Braised Brisket

One Year Ago: Heath Bar Cake
Two Years Ago: Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl
Three Years Ago: Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder

Delicious Braised Brisket with Mushrooms

Yield: Serves 4-6

Delicious Braised Brisket with Mushrooms

Note: If you are having trouble finding a piece of brisket smaller than half a cow, simply ask the meat counter clerk or butcher to help you. Generally, they can provide you with a smaller cut of brisket. Flat-cut brisket is easier to find and a bit more uniform in texture than point cut (according to Cook's Country). This recipe is easily doubled with fantastic results.


  • 2-3 pounds brisket roast, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 8 ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Pat the brisket dry with paper twoels and prick the roast all over with a fork. Cut the brisket in half crosswise into two roasts (just like you'd cut a sandwich or apple in half). Season each roast with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Brown the brisket on both sides (working with one roast at a time), about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer fat-side up to a 9X13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining roast.
  3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Add the mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the onions and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the flour, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broths and bay leaves, scraping up any browned bits. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 6-7 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce over the roasts in the 9X13-inch pan and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the roasts in the preheated oven until very tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, flipping the roasts and recovering the dish halfway through cooling.
  5. Transfer the roasts to a cutting board and trim any extra fat off, if the roasts are excessively fatty. Strain the sauce from the pan through a fine mesh strainer into a fat separator; reserving the mushrooms. Let the liquid settle and then pour into a microwave-safe bowl, leaving the fat behind. Stir in the vinegar and microwave the sauce for about a minute. If the sauce is too thick, thin with chicken or beef broth. Slice or shred the brisket roasts and place on a serving platter with the reserved mushrooms. Pour the warmed sauce over the meat. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country, Dec/Jan 2012

50 Responses to Delicious Braised Brisket with Mushrooms

  1. Liz Nunn-Gage says:

    Mel, have you tried this in the Instant Pot?

  2. Tiggerr says:

    This didn’t work for me either. I had a 2 ½ pound brisket and four hours was way too long. The sauce took on a burnt sugar taste and I had a large chunk of meat that burnt. The dog got that part. Not sure if I’ll try it again but if I do, it’s going on a rack and there will be more broth in the sauce, not to mention a shorter cooking time. My son who will eat anything ate his but the rest of us filled up on potatoes. But it sure smelled good while cooking.

  3. Katie says:

    I am planning on doing this in the crockpot, and I am going to brown it beforehand like you suggest. Would you put the mushrooms in for the whole cooking time or would they get overcooked being in there that long? Thanks Mel!

  4. Amanda says:

    I tried this one last night and didn’t have any beef stock. I know it sounds weird but I substituted for a cup of V8 juice. My mom always used V8 in beef roasts type recipes. It was delicious!

  5. Leah says:

    I made this the other day and it smelled delicious while cooking (used a Dutch oven instead of the pan). But, 4 1/2 hours was too long, and the brisket ended up a bit black on the outside and the sauce cooked into more of a weird jelly than a sauce. So, I’d recommend this, but check frequently near the end of the cooking time.

  6. […] reality it takes just 20 minutes to make (besides being a lot less fattening).  I took cues from this Mel’s Kitchen recipe to come up with it, adding in a few dried shiitake mushrooms on my own to deepen the flavor. […]

  7. Denise says:

    Thanks Mel. Yup…a story : daughter gets married, cuts pot roast in half – just like mom and grandma.. Finally after she has several kids, asks her mom why she and grandma always cut the roast in half before baking ? Answer: I never had a pan large enough to cook the whole thing !
    Glad you clarified abt the cutting…The next question I would have had, was do you cut it horizontal or like an apple ! I’m anxious to try this. Having traveled to Texas and tasted (several) of the best tasting beef briskets ever in my life, I’ve been scared to try it on my own. I will try now, though !!

  8. I am revisiting this brisket recipe–noted it last year but still haven’t gotten around to making it yet. So many recipes, so few kids around these days to eat the stuff! I had to laugh at your comment about trying to find a brisket smaller than your left leg. With the way your boys are eating now, you’ll be looking for briskets the size of both your legs pretty soon!

  9. Denise says:

    This might be a dumb question, but I’m wondering why you cut the Brisket in half ? What purpose does it serve ? It reminds me of a cute story–but I don’t have time to share it today ! But why ? why not just get a smaller roast ?

    • Mel says:

      Denise – ha! Good question…I’ve heard a similar story about a ham (is that your story??) but for this recipe, I’m pretty sure it is cut in half in order to maximize the amount of surface area on the roast(s) that is exposed to the juices and the heat. Make sense?

  10. Sally says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never thought of brisket and mushrooms! I’ll try this the next time I make brisket.

    I’m a single and usually make brisket every couple of months. I buy a 3 to 4 pound brisket for the leftovers. There are so many good things to be done with the leftovers! Sandwiches and soup to start, but my favorite is to add some of the brisket to marinara sauce and serve with pasta. The first time I did this my daughter was with me and she was not convinced this would be good. She loved it!

    I’ve also served it over baked potatoes, made beef and noodles, cooked extra vegetables and made stew, not to mention making tacos, tostadas and burritos.

  11. Amy says:

    This is awesomeness!! I am eating it right now and I thank Melanie and encourage you to make it as fast as YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!!

  12. Shannon says:

    I made this again today, but this time in the crockpot. I used London Broil because it is the beef I can get most inexpensively. I only had one pound of meat, but it still worked out perfectly with the same amount of sauce. I cooked it on high for 2-3 hours and then on low another 5-6. The meat shredded beautifully and was tender. I love the flavor of the mushrooms and the sauce. Anyway, just wanted to report that crockpot cooking works great with this recipe.

  13. Shannon says:

    I had company coming for dinner and was planning to try this in the crockpot but was out-of-town until about 1:30pm. I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough time for it to really get done, so I followed your oven instructions. I used two 1 lb. London Broils instead of brisket neither of which were completely defrosted. I cooked it for about 3 1/2 hours and it was perfect. The meat was tender and the gravy was absolutely heavenly! I’ll definitely make this again and again–kind of like your Ultimate Stroganoff and your Creamy Green Chicken Enchiladas and your Magic in the Middle cookies and your bagels and I think you get the idea! Thanks for all your hard work providing me with great recipes!

  14. It was yummo! For all you Costco lovers out there, they sell a great beef brisket that I used in mine and it was super easy to trim off the fat and they fit great in a 9×13 once it was cut in half. Thanks Mel once again!

  15. Anne Steenblik says:

    I used a chuck roast for this after my late Saturday night run for Sunday dinner yielded no brisket. It tasted great but it was definitely a pot roast-esque meal and not brisket. There was no fat layer, rather pockets of fat that I had to find to remove. I also had to add oil to get the 1T of fat to brown the mushrooms. I’m anxious to try it again with a brisket to see the difference but would certainly do it again if I land in the same Saturday night boat.

  16. Mel says:

    Jenny – straining really helps get rid of the fat so if you don’t think that will be an issue, you are probably fine to stir in the vinegar and call it good. Hope you enjoy it!

  17. Jenny says:

    Making this now! Quick question though. Is there any harm in not straining the sauce? My piece of meat is not very fatty and I may be tight on time to do all of that (not to mention I don’t have a gravy separator). I am wondering if I could just stir in the balsamic after it has rested and serve? Thanks!

  18. Rachel says:

    This brisket is pure awesome! I’m not a fan of barbecue brisket (and I live in Texas – it’s a tragedy) and this is my perfect alternative for when brisket goes on sale or I need to feed a huge crowd. I made a TON of this stuff – almost 7lbs – and it was all gone by two days later! Reheats so well. Mmmm… I need to make this again already.

  19. Shannon says:

    We are trying to empty the freezer because we are moving. I didn’ t have a brisket, but I did have London Broil and tri tip. I put both in the pan and they were both excellent. Neither had much fat so grease was nonexistent. Another yummy success! Thanks!

  20. Annie says:

    My husband and I have tried to make a brisket to no avail. So happy to have one that has a proven track record. I cannot wait to try it.

    BTW, I am new to your blog and just introduced from the Blendtec giveaway (which I hope you are so kind to send our way, hint hint :-). Anyway, your blog is now in my tool bar front and center. It is going to be my new “go-to” cookbook above any other. I love how you have made so many recipes your own, took the time to create gorgeous photos and you put together a well organized and stylish site. I cannot wait to start cooking more because of you. I am sure others feel the same way. Thank you!

  21. Sharon H. says:

    I made this, including the garlic parmesan smashed potatoes, last night. My husband kept up a running commentary of, “WOW! This is soooo good! This is a keeper!” throughout the meal. I wholeheartedly agree! Everything was delicious! Thank you for this recipe!

  22. Nikie says:

    Thanks, Mel.
    I was thinking Chuck roast too. I”ll let you know how it works!

  23. Ok, I ‘m sold. You make this sound so good I can hardly wait to get to the store and buy brisket!

  24. Mel says:

    Nikie – you could probably use a chuck roast…I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure how the liquid-meat ratio would be and you would want to check cooking times to make sure the roast doesn’t dry out. Good luck!

  25. Nikie says:


    This is probably a dumb question, but I’ve never cooked a brisket. Could you substitute another cut of beef for the brisket in this recipe?

  26. Cammee says:

    Mushrooms, beef and gravy? Does it get any better? I know already that this is one of those meals where you cuss when you get full because you want to keep eating!

  27. Leigh Anne says:

    We just picked up a whole beef we had butchered today! Perfect timing! Can’t wait to report back with the results. Thanks!

  28. Mel says:

    Heather – not to put any pressure on you to find a way to love mushrooms…but yes, I think the flavor of the gravy would not be nearly as deep, good or as flavorful without the mushrooms. However, having said that, I think the brisket could be just as tender and delicious – so maybe it’s still worth a try!

  29. Kimiko says:

    This looks good! I’ve never cooked brisket either so your post is really inspiring me to do so…especially since this recipe involves mushrooms. I’m a fan of anything with mushrooms, so I’m tempted to give this a try! Thanks!

  30. Heather Miller says:

    This looks amazing and my husband loves brisket so, even though the thoughy of cooking a brisket frightens me (just like baking with yeast and roasting garlic…fears I have overcome:)), I’m gonna give it a try! I was just wondering though, would it change the taste much if I left the mushrooms out? We aren’t really mushroom people and I wasn’t sure if they add to the flavor so much that it would be altered if left out? Any ideas? Thanks!

  31. modernworkinggirl says:

    Hubby’s been pleading for a good brisket meal forever, and my “but I don’t know hoooows” just won’t cut it anymore! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  32. Laura D says:

    Another crock pot tip: Wrap the brisket in aluminum foil. It helps the meat hold its shape (if you are wanting to slice it), and the fat usually melts out of the foil, so then you mostly have lean meat left in the foil packet. It also helps keep the seasonings on the meat. Brisket doesn’t fit nicely in a crockpot, but I just sort of wedge it in there.

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I’ve only ever made BBQ-style brisket…looking forward to trying this.

  33. Mel says:

    Stephen – thanks for the crockpot advice – that’s about what I would guess, too. And for anyone wanting to try the crockpot method, I’d encourage you not to skip the browning step – it adds great flavor!

  34. Rebecca B says:

    I make brisket at least twice a year (for the Jewish holidays) and for a family of 4 we always make 6-7lbs. Brisket freezes beautifully! It will come in quite handy once your baby comes. After we eat the meat for a couple of days, I just portion it into ziploc baggies and freeze. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I think it will also work well in the crockpot. Maybe cut the meat into four sections?

  35. ankerah05 says:

    thank you! I’ve always wanted to try brisket but never found a recipe without bbq for my tomato allergic husband.

  36. Stephen says:

    @Sally and @Kelly Garrett – Based on my experience making smoked brisket barbeque, I would cook this in the crockpot for 8-9 hours.

  37. Kelly Garrett says:

    Hi Mel, I use your recipes all the time and love knowing whatever I make will be great! I was wondering if this brisket recipe could be done in the crockpot?

  38. Sally says:

    This recipe sounds YUMMY! Has anyone used a crockpot? How long would it be on low? Thanks!

  39. Kim says:

    A good friend shared her brisket recipe w/ me a few years ago, and it really is the absolute best beef roast out there! Her recipe uses packaged gravy mix, but otherwise, it’s basically the same cooking method as you’ve outlined. (Although, I’ve never seared it before cooking, and it still seems to turn out just fine.) I’m not a huge fan of using packaged gravy, so I’m glad to have found an alternative. I like using Montreal Seasoning (low sodium kind). It’s a bit strong, so a little goes a long way. I also just use a spoon to scoop off the fat from the top after it’s finished baking. It comes off really easily. The meat pulls apart like cotton candy. I also find that my brisket is easily done in more like 4 hours, depending on how thick of a cut it is. An electric knife works well, if you are hoping to slice this. It’s so tender, it’s hard to actually slice.

  40. Leigh Anne says:

    We are huge brisket eaters at our house – it is so quick and easy to prepare. I’ll have to give this recipe a try and add it to my collection of brisket recipes. Thanks Melanie!

  41. BrookeO says:

    This recipe looks like the perfect winter meal. I can’t wait to test it out!

  42. Shanna says:

    Yahoo!!!!! This looks amazing, and you included what to serve it with. You are the best. Thanks so much.

  43. Tanya H. says:

    That sounds really good!

  44. Kim in MD says:

    For some reason I have never cooked a brisket, but have always wanted to. This recipe looks so delicious! I had to laugh when I read this post, Mel. Maybe a normal size brisket is too much for your family to eat now, but wait until your four boys are teenagers. They become eating machines with bottomless pits! 😉

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