There’s nothing like a braise for making your kitchen smell amazing. Add the aroma of the luscious warm spices in Moroccan cuisine, and you’ll find yourself waiting by the oven for this dish to be ready.
Along with our brisket, this dish also incorporates carrots, onions, dried apricots and capers for a sweet-spicy-tangy combination that really sings. It’s dressed-up enough to serve to company, but easy enough to make just for yourself.
Though it’s delicious right out of the oven, this dish is even better the next day, when the flavors have had a chance to develop and deepen. Let it cool completely and refrigerate, covered, overnight. Rewarm in a 300ºF oven or gently on the stove. Serve it with couscous, buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes to soak up all that flavorful sauce.
- 1 ButcherBox Brisket (about 2.9 pounds)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp high-heat cooking fat, such as avocado oil
- 3 onions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ras el hanout see Note
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 5 carrots cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup dried apricots halved
- 3 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Pat it dry thoroughly. Trim off any large chunks of fat on the outside. Cut parallel lines partially through the fat cap about ¼ inch apart, taking care not to slice all the way through to the meat. Repeat in the opposite direction, creating a crosshatch pattern.
- Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, season the brisket generously all over with salt and pepper. Add the brisket to the pot fat side down. Sear until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a large plate. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the onions to the pot, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and turning golden, 11 to 14 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the sugar, ras el hanout and paprika; cook, stirring, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth and stir to pull up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat.
- Place the brisket back in the pot; spread the tomato paste on top. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise the brisket until the meat is cooked through, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. (It may seem tough at this point; don’t worry.) Add the carrots, apricots and capers to the pot, tucking them into the liquid. Thinly slice the meat against the grain. Return the meat to the pot, tucking the slices into the braising liquid. Cover and continue to braise until the brisket is very tender, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 ½ hours longer.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Just before serving, sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve the brisket with the onions, carrots and apricots.
- Ras el hanout is a Moroccan blend that contains warming spices such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon, coriander and cumin. There are endless variations on the blend, but all add loads of aroma and flavor to dishes. Keep a jar in your spice cabinet and use it on roasted root vegetables, sprinkle it on any protein (it's fantastic on fish and chicken as well as beef and lamb), or stir some into plain yogurt and use it as a dip for vegetables and pita chips.
- The hot paprika adds a little bit of heat to this dish. If you prefer more spice, swap in harissa (a North African chili paste) for some or all of the tomato paste.
- Be sure to slice the brisket as thinly as possible before adding it back to the braising liquid. This will allow more of the flavors to infuse into the meat, and get you that ideal moist, falling-apart texture.
Beth Lipton is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and writer specializing in food and wellness. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Paleo magazine, FoodNetwork.com, Well+Good, Outside, Sleep.com and more. Beth's latest cookbook, Carnivore-ish, featuring 125 animal protein-forward recipes, is available now.