Cousin Martin came to visit last week, and I made our grandmother's brisket for him. If you've heard that I never met a brisket recipe I didn't love, you heard right, and while I've made brisket the same way my grandmother did for most of my life, lately I've been branching out, too. I've tried sweet, and spicy, Tex-Mex and BBQ and shredded. A bottle of Lebanese pomegranate molasses in the pantry inspired this latest slow cooker recipe, and when I went looking online, I found several versions to use as a starting point. Pomegranate molasses brings a tangy sweet-sour flavor to the meat, and mint leaves added at the end offer an unexpected -- and delightful -- change from the usual heavier seasonings. I use my new favorite technique of cutting the meat into four pieces and browning all of the edges before slow cooking with the remaining ingredients; this has the added advantage of producing pieces that are just the right length for sandwiches. You can cook the brisket in one whole piece, for a finished dish that's a bit less, well... edgy. Look for pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets, or online.
Slow cooker beef brisket with pomegranate molasses gravy
From the pantry, you'll need: pomegranate molasses, olive oil, garlic, cinnamon, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, onions.
Recipe adapted for the slow cooker from this recipe on toriavey.com. Serves 6-8.
3 lb flat-cut beef brisket
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses + 1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 medium onions, sliced
A few fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Cut the brisket into 4 equal pieces, and blot dry with a paper towel.
[Note: I use a 6-quart Ninja Cooking System, so I can brown the meat right in the slow cooker.]
Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil. Brown the meat on all sides, then transfer the meat to the slow cooker along with all the remaining ingredients except the mint.
Cook on LOW for 7-1/2 hours, until the meat is tender.
Remove the meat to a plate, and cover lightly with foil. Raise the heat to HIGH. Use an immersion blender to pureé most of the onions in the gravy (this will help to thicken the gravy, too). Or, if you don't have an immersion blender, allow the liquid to cool slightly, then use a stand blender or food processor. Return the gravy to the slow cooker, set to HIGH, and let the gravy boil and reduce slightly.
Pour the gravy over the meat. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve hot or at room temperature.
More brisket ideas:
Slow cooker barbecue beef brisket, from The Perfect Pantry
Mediterranean beef brisket, from The Perfect Pantry
Dr. Pepper pulled brisket, from Homesick Texan
Bourbon and coffee braised brisket with cranberry sauce, from What Jew Wanna Eat
Guinness braised brisket, from Noble Pig
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