Braised Brisket with Red Wine & Prunes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tender braised brisket with red wine, prunes, and sweet onions.
Serves: 10-12 servings
  • 5-6 pounds brisket
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 3-4 large carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only, finely minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 25 pitted prunes
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads of garlic, cloves removed and peeled
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Season the brisket on both sides well with salt and pepper, at least a tablespoon of salt per side and 2 teaspoons of black pepper per side (more or less depending on personal taste). Heat the oil in a large skillet (or the bottom of your roasting pan, like I did, because my 6-pound brisket would not fit in any of my pans) and brown well on both sides, about 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to the rack of the roasting pan and surround with the carrots, celery, rosemary, bay leaves, and prunes.
  2. Add the onions to the same skillet (or a separate one with some oil, like I had to do, because, as I said, I bought a giant freakin' brisket) and saute over medium-high heat until well browned, about 8 minutes. Add in the whole, peeled garlic cloves, red wine, and ¼ cup of the red wine vinegar and stir to combine. Reduce the mixture until the pan is almost dry, about 10-15 minutes, stirring often, then add in the tomatoes, brown sugar, and stock. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour the onion mixture over the brisket in the roasting pan, and cover entirely with foil. Place in the oven and roast for 4 hours, or until tender (I found that 4 hours was perfect for my 6-pound brisket).
  4. Remove the brisket from the oven and uncover. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes, then transfer it to a cutting board and cover to keep warm. Discard the bay leaves, and use a slotted spoon to remove the prunes and set them aside. Strain the cooking liquid into a large bowl, and reserve 1 cup of the cooked vegetables, discarding the rest. Allow the fat to rise to the top of the bowl of cooking liquid, then skim it off with a spoon and add in the reserved 1 cup of vegetables and half of the prunes (you can cut up the prunes and add them to the sauce later, but I just used half of the prunes and discarded the rest). Place in a food processor, a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Add in the remaining 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Slice the brisket very thinly, against the grain, and serve with the sauce.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at