Beef Brisket, Braised with Cranberries

Salted Brisket

Salted Brisket

by Cat, Dec 2008 (Photo, right, by Cat)

See also: 1. Slow-Roast or Braised Beef Brisket in Red Wine with Mushrooms

Growing up, we didn’t have brisket very often – except for Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day at the Catholic Church – but I’ve since come to love it when cooked slow until it is fork tender.

This recipe is very suitable for a holiday meal.

Beef Brisket with Cranberries

I’ve adapted this from the Daily Inter Lake newspaper, December 6, 2008 edition (original source:  Everyday Foods).  Serves 8.

We used to have an excellent meat shop here in the Flathead (Meats Supply), that carried locally raised, mostly grass-fed beef; unfortunately they retired and closed in 2011.  I used their brisket for corning beef for St. Paddy’s day. Now I can’t find good, locally-raised brisket anywhere here, so have to order it shipped from Portland.

If you can’t get good grass-fed beef, try a buffalo brisket.  Just use a lower temperature (about 25 degrees less) for cooking.  Also, use fresh brisket, not corned beef, for this recipe.

I prefer to use my homemade broth or stock.  The potato peel veggie broth is excellent, and much quicker and less messy to make than beef stock.  Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlo are excellent wine choices, if you have some left over.  Otherwise, a dry red table wine will also work and is less expensive.  Blackstrap molasses is recommended because of its high mineral and enzyme content, but any unsulfured molasses will work just fine.

A note on oven temperature:  The original recipe called for 3500F oven, but I much prefer slow-roasting at a lower temperature of 2750F.  This change may require longer cooking than indicated, depending on the cut of meat.  Refer to Slow-Roast Beef, Buffalo, Venison or Lamb for more on slow roasting.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 3 pounds beef brisket
  • Unrefined sea salt (coarse grind)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached white flour
  • about 2 cups rich homemade Beef StockPotato Peel Broth, or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 12 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pound pearl onions, frozen
  • 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven with lid (stove-top and oven-proof), OR cast iron chicken fryer and large, covered casserole


  1. Trim fat from brisket, to a 1/4 inch layer.  Season with coarse salt and black pepper.
  2. Preheat  oven to 275°F (beef) or 250°F (buffalo). [Original recipe indicated 350°F for beef, but I prefer a slow-roast].
  3. Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat.  Add prepared brisket, fat side down and cook until browned, about 8 – 10 minutes, rotating once.  Transfer brisket to plate.
  4. Add flour to drippings in Dutch oven and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add broth, wine, bay leaf, molasses, half the cranberries, and filtered water.  Bring to a boil.
  5. If pot is not oven-proof, transfer contents to oven-proof casserole with lid.
  6. Add brisket and cover. Transfer to oven and bake for 3 hours.
  7. Stir in onions; cover and return pot to oven.  Cook 30 minutes more.  Stir in remaining cranberries; return to oven.  Cook, uncovered, until brisket is fork-tender, about 30 minutes more.
  8. Discard bay leaf before serving

Assembly or Serving ideas

  • Serve with mashed or oven-roasted potatoes, seared green beans with garlic, and other holiday trimmings.


  1. Daily Inter Lake newspaper, December 6, 2008

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