Make sure you save yourself some of the caramelised pieces from the outside - they're the best bits. Then maybe add a spoonful of sweet chilli jam on the side for an extra kick.
This is one of those meals I like to cook on a cooler summer evening served with a crunchy salad and some french bread, or during the winter with a bowl of steaming hot boiled rice.
It's super easy to prepare. First season and seal the brisket in a pan, then mix together the glaze/rub and spread half of it on the beef.
Fry up red onions with garlic and spices, then add in tinned tomatoes, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and HP sauce for a spicy, tangy sauce.
Add the brisket into the pan with the sauce and cook in the oven until tender, before brushing on the rest of the marinade and letting it finish off without the lid for beautiful caramelised exterior!
If you manage to save leftovers of this pulled brisket, warm up the beef and sauce and serve it on crusty rolls for lunch the next day. You'll be the envy of your colleagues.
This gorgeous brisket certainly isn't a quick dish - in fact it's in the oven for 3 and a half hours.
Cheaper cuts like brisket lend themselves really well to this kind of slow cooking -resulting in lovely tender meat and amazing sauces from the meat juices mixing with any ingredients you might add.
I love the tomatoey, slightly smoky and spicy flavour of this sauce, but it'd work wonderfully with other flavours like red wine & mushrooms or even some spicy Thai sauce with coconut milk (a bit like my Massaman curry).
This would also work great in the slow cooker or crockpot. I bet coming home to the smells of this filling your home would be amazing. It will still need a quick blast in the oven (see step 7) to get the caramelised layer though.
There's more info on cooking in the slow cooker in the recipe notes below.
The Caramelized Pulled Beef Brisket in a Rich Spicy Sauce Recipe:
Caramelized Pulled Beef Brisket in a Rich Spicy Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp veg oil
- salt and pepper
- 0.75 kg rolled beef brisket
- 1 large red onion - peeled and sliced
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. water
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
- 1 x 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes
- 540 ml hot beef stock - water with three stock cubes is fine
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sauce/HP Sauce - you could use A1 Steak sauce if you can't get HP
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
Serve with (optional):
- Sweet chilli jam
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Heat oven to 140C/275F.
- Heat oil in a large casserole pan on a high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, place in the pan and then brown on all sides. Take the brisket out of the pan and place on a plate.
- Turn the heat down to low, place the sliced onion in, season with salt and pepper and gently cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until they've softened.
- Whilst the onions are cooking, mix the paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, dark brown sugar, honey and water in a small bowl. Spread half of it over the brisket.
- Add the garlic to the onions and give a stir. Allow to cook for 30 seconds, then add the tinned tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and brown sauce. Bring to the boil and then place the marinated brisket on top. Place a lid on the pan and place in the oven for 3 hours (check it occasionally. If it starts to look too dry, add in a splash of water).
- After three hours, take out of the oven and give everything a little stir.
- Spread the rest of the marinade on the brisket, sprinkle with the light brown sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn up the oven to 200C/400F and cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the brisket is dark and sticky looking. Take out of the oven, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, then leave to cool a little. Shred the meat in the sauce using two forks.
- Serve with rice, potatoes or salad and sweet chilli jam if you like.
Can I make the beef brisket gluten free?Yes - replace the stock with bouillon and the soy sauce with tamari. Worcestershire sauce and HP/Brown sauce is often gluten free, but it's best to check the specific one you use.
Can I make the beef brisket in the slow cooker/crockpot?Yes, sear the meat, then add the sauce ingredients, and cook on low for 7-8 hours, checking occasionally. It will need a blast under the grill/broiler for the final step when the marinade has been applied.
Can I freeze the beef brisket?Yes, shred the beef and mix with the sauce, then cool, cover and freeze in portions. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight until completely defrosted, then heat through thoroughly before serving (reheat in the oven at 170C/325F for 20-30 minutes until piping hot throughout). Nutritional Information is per serving.
This recipe was first published in October 2014. Updated in June 2018 with new photos and cook’s tips.
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