Sweet and Sour Brisket

  • 1 (1.5kg) beef brisket, first-cut or flat-half cut, trimmed of any excess fat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 30ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 450ml tinned tomato sauce, preferably no salt added
  • 60ml low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 3 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 85ml plus 15ml cider vinegar
  • 50g raisins
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 allspice berry
1) Preheat the oven to 150°C. Pat the brisket dry and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

2) Heat 15ml of the oil over medium-high heat in a casserole dish. Sear the brisket until it is browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a plate.

3) Add the remaining 15ml oil to the pot and cook the onion, stirring a few times, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, 85ml of the vinegar, the raisins, peppercorns, and allspice and stir to combine well.

4) Bring mixture to a boil, return brisket and any accumulated juices to the pot, spoon some of the tomato-vinegar mixture over the brisket, cover tightly, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the brisket is fork tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

5) Remove the brisket from the oven, transfer the meat to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes or, if serving later, cover and refrigerate the meat and sauce for several hours or overnight.

6) When you are ready to serve, cut the meat against the grain into 1/2-cm thick slices. Stir the remaining 15ml of vinegar into the warm sauce. Return the sliced brisket to the sauce until heated through, then serve.

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