I’m going to assume that you have already read my recipe for The Best Brisket Ever and would love to have the world’s most delicious brisket come out of your oven too. Only thing….you don’t have a dutch oven.
Can you still make a delicious brisket without one? The answer is yes. And let me tell you how.
First, you need to understand what the dutch oven does so you can replicate the process without one.
The dutch oven is ideal because you can sear the meat in it (an important first step to producing great flavor), and then, after adding the aromatic ingredients like onions and herbs, and after adding the liquid necessary to slow cook your brisket into “fall-apart-with-a-fork” tenderness, you can put the same dutch oven into your actual oven and not have more than one pan to clean up. Genius!
Furthermore, the dutch oven is made with enamel-covered cast iron. The cast iron part makes your dutch oven quite heavy, and hence it insulates your brisket really well while it cooks. It doesn’t allow liquids to steam out through cracks, risking a dry piece of meat. It keeps all the flavor in, like a hearth. The enamel coating makes it easy to clean, and this ceramic-like coating tends to add more flavor goodness to the cooking process.
I freaking LOOOOOVE my Le Creuset Dutch Oven and I strongly encourage my cooking students to invest in one. It costs a good chunk of change – around 300-400 dollars, but will last a life time. It’s worth it if you can do it. But if you don’t want to spend that kind of money on kitchen tools right now, or are planning to make a brisket RIGHT NOW and don’t have a dutch oven in your cupboard, then here is what you do:
1. Sear your meat in a large pan. It will be hard to find a pan large enough to hold a brisket, but you can cut your brisket in half, or thirds, to accommodate. Cutting your brisket will not mess up the cooking process, but not searing your meat at the get-go will.
2. You will essentially follow the rest of the recipe but instead of cooking it in a dutch oven, you will use a ceramic (or glass) casserole dish that can accommodate your brisket. You can also use two casserole dishes if you have a really big brisket. As per my recipe – – You will lay the chopped onions on the bottom of the casserole, place your brisket, fat side up, in there, and then cover with the carrots, celery, tomatoes, wine and herbs.
3. You will cover your casserole dish VERY VERY well to simulate the insulation that the dutch oven provides. That means, don’t just give it a piece of tin foil on top. Wrap it ENTIRELY, multiple times, with heavy duty aluminum foil so that no steam or juices could possibly escape. Both the bottom, top and sides of your casserole dish will have several layers of heavy duty foil on it and this will make it function like a dutch oven.
4. Bake as directed, and continue with recipe from there……
Here’s to delicious brisket and to many happy eaters!
If you would like my Free Passover Recipe Bible with 21 recipes for the Jewish holidays, you can find it here.