6 tablespoons simple olive oil or vegetable oil
3 lbs. onions, peeled and sliced evenly
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
8 tablespoons flour
One whole Wagyu brisket (first-cut), approx. 5 lbs.
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
4 cups rich beef broth at room temperature
Fresh ground black pepper
- Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or sauté pan over high heat. When it’s hot, add half the onions, and cook them until they are nicely browned, just short of burned, and still a little crunchy. Don’t stir them until the brownness starts to take, then stir occasionally. The whole process may take 5-8 minutes. Remove and reserve. Repeat with remaining half of onions. Remove onions and combine with cooked and reserved onions. Stir in 2 teaspoons of paprika evenly. Reserve.
- Season the brisket well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat evenly with 6 tablespoons of the flour. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan you used for the onions. Place over high heat. When it’s hot, add the beef. Sear well on all sides until the beef is brown-black; this should take about 5 minutes per side. Remove beef, and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 teaspoons of paprika.
- Pre-heat oven to 300ºF.
- Select a large pan for braising the beef. Spread the reserved onions out in the bottom of the pan, making a bed that’s about the size of the beef. Spread the crushed tomatoes over the onions. Place the beef on the onion-tomato bed.
- Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly blend in the beef stock, adding just a few tablespoons of stock at first to make a thick slurry. Then beat in the rest of the stock quickly. After you’ve made sure the flour is blended, pour the stock over and around the beef. The size of your pan will determine the depth of the stock in the pan; an ideal depth is anywhere from 1/4 way to 1/2 way up the side of the beef.
- Cover the pan very tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Baste beef occasionally (once an hour or so) with braising liquid. Cook until beef is very tender; this may take 4-5 hours.
- When the brisket is tender, remove it from pan, and let rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, skim as much fat from the gravy as possible. You may strain the onions out, but I prefer to keep them in. Cut the beef, against the grain, into slices that are about 1/4” thick. Cover meat with gravy and serve.
NOTE: I did not baste this brisket hourly. I basted it once after about 2 hours. Brisket in a tightly sealed pan will not require so much basting.