I have had this meal at my friends house – so the credit for this presentation got to go to my friend Teresa. It may seem like a lot of work, but the result was worth the effort. Note: for the most tender brisket, you need a little patience. Slow-braise the meat ahead of time, then refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors.
Beef brisket with roasted grapes
1 5-6 lb beef brisket
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 lb onions, chopped (about 33/4 cup)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs ground ginger
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups red wine, such as Shiraz or Zinfandel
1 14oz. can beef or chicken broth
1 lb each carrots and pearl onions, peeled
4 cups seedless red grapes
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
¼ cup cooking oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Trim excess fat from brisket, set brisket aside. In roasting pan with cover, cook chopped onions and garlic in hot oil until onions are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add ginger, cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Season brisket with salt and pepper, place brisket on onion mixture. Add wine and broth. Cover, roast for 2 hours. If you don’t have a covered roasting pan, tightly cover pan with heavy foil.
Remove cover, add carrots. Roast, uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes more until carrots are just tender.
Remove brisket from oven, stir in pearl onions. Cover, let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer meat and vegetables to storage container. Cover and refrigerate meat and vegetables in one container and pan juices in another. Refrigerate all overnight (12 to 24 hours).
Before serving, preheat oven to 375 F. Remove fat from pan juices, discard fat. Transfer juices to saucepan, boil gently, uncovered, about 20 minutes until reduced to 2 ¼ cups. While brisket is cold, slice of any excess fat. Slice meat against the grain, slice carrots diagonally in 2 inch pieces. Return brisket and vegetables to roasting pan. Add grapes, herbs, and reduced juices. Cover and reheat in oven for 45 minutes. Transfer brisket, grapes, onion and carrots to platter. Discard herb sprigs.
For a gravy, combine oil and flour in a small sauce pan and stir in pan juices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 more minute. Serve with brisket. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
To peel pearl onions, place whole onions in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Cut off end of each onion and squeeze gently to remove skin.
Wine pairing suggestion:
To complement the fruitiness of grapes and richness of the beef and gravy, I looked for fruity, robust wine to pair with this meal. My long time favorite Cline Ancient vines Zinfandel was a great choice.