- garlic cloves - 30-35, plus 1 tsp minced garlic
- boiling water - pan of
- olive oil - 3 tbsp
- brisket - 5 lb, first cut, trimmed of excess fat, wiped with damp paper towel, and patted dry
- red wine vinegar - 2 tbsp
- beef or chicken broth - 3 cups
- thyme sprigs - 3-4, or 2 tsp dried thyme
- rosemary sprigs - 2 fresh, plus 1 tsp chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- lemon zest - 1 tsp grated
Preheat the oven to 325. Drop the garlic into the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain them immediately and peel the garlic as soon as it’s cool enough to hold. Set the peeled garlic aside on paper towels to drain. In the bottom or a large roasting pan heat the olive oil over medium heat (one big enough to hold the meat in one layer). Add the brisket, and sear it on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter and set it aside. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat remaining in the pan, and add the garlic cloves. Cook the over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic edges are just starting to turn light brown. Add the vinegar and deglaze pan, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the broth, thyme and rosemary sprigs, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Salt and pepper the brisket to taste on, and place it in the pan, fat side up. Spoon the garlic cloves over the meat. Cover the pan with a lid or heavy duty foil and place the brisket in the oven. Cook, basting every half-hour, until meat is fork tender, 2 1/2 - 3 hours or longer. (As the meat cooks, check to make sure that liquid is only bubbling gently. If the boil is too rapid, the temperature is too high and you need to turn it down. to about 300). Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and tent it loosely with foil. Prepare the gravy.
Strain the sauce, saving the garlic but discarding the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Skim as much of the fat as possible from the liquid. Puree about one-half of the cooked garlic and 1 cup liquid in a food processor or a blender. Transfer the pureed mixture, the remaining liquid, and the rest of the cooked garlic to a skillet. Add the remaining chopped rosemary and minced garlic and the lemon zest. Boil down the gravy over high heat, uncovered until slightly thickened. Season to taste. You can puree all of the cooked garlic if you prefera really smooth gravy.
Cut the brisket into thin slices across the grain. Serve on a platter with a little of the sauce poured over the top. Pass the rest of the sauce to serve with the brisket. Serves 6 to 8.