Brisket with Caramelized Onions & Porcini Mushrooms

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in 21DSD, Beef, Dinner, Whole 30 | 12 comments

Brisket with Caramelized Onions & Porcini Mushrooms

I honestly can’t remember the last time I made a brisket, before I made one for this post, anyway. It’s just not something I get excited about, surprisingly enough. Don’t get me wrong, if someone makes a tasty brisket and it happens to wind up in front of me, I will eat the heck out of it. It’s delicious. But it’s not something I often buy with plans to make during the week.

all the ingredients.

all the ingredients

But it’s almost Passover, and I can’t imagine this nice Jewish girl not having a proper Passover recipe round-up, complete with a brisket for the center of the table. Your table, anyway, cause we have lamb chops at ours. If my mom dared leave her famous lamb chops off the menu, I guarantee there would some kind of mutiny. Even my borderline vegetarian cousin has been known to throw a punch when she feels her lamb chop quota being threatened by the other guests. (I might be exaggerating, but the look in her eye suggests just barely)

And besides, this brisket is freaking delicious, and has made the cut into the regular rotation.

Like any braised recipe, it’s best when eaten the next day.

cried porcinis get reconstituted and strained, leaving a rich mushroom broth

dried porcinis get reconstituted and strained, leaving a rich mushroom broth

brisket get seared before a couple of hours in the oven.

brisket get seared before a couple of hours in the oven.


...then brushed with tomato paste

…then brushed with tomato paste

Into the dutch oven goes almost caramelized onions, a few carrots...

Into the dutch oven goes almost caramelized onions, a few carrots…

...the brisket

…the brisket


criminis and porcinis join the party, with the liquid from rehydrating the porcinis...

criminis and porcinis join the party, with the liquid from rehydrating the porcinis…

And then we braise.

And then... some seriously delicious brisket

And then… some seriously delicious brisket

For maximum brisket enjoyment, make this the day before you plan to eat it. Once it’s cooked and slightly cooled, slice it and put it back in the braising liquid until you’re ready to eat it. 

French Onion Brisket with Porcini Mushrooms

Note: If you have a pot big enough to fit the brisket and vegetables that you can also sear in, use that for the entire recipe. If not, it’s fine to sear the brisket and brown the onions in a separate pot before transferring it to a large oven safe dish. 


5-6 pounds brisket, preferably grass-fed
5 large onions, sliced thin
3-4 large carrots, whole or sliced lengthwise
12-15 fresh crimini mushrooms, whole, stemmed
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 heaping cup)
6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tallow, coconut oil, duck fat, or preferred fat

  • Preheat oven to 325˚.
  • Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes, or until you’re ready to add them to the brisket.
  • Pat the brisket dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and melt the fat. Add the brisket and sear for three minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and brush with tomato paste on both sides.
  • Add the onions to the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Saute them for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and soft.
  • Strain the mushrooms in a strainer lined with a cheesecloth, reserving the liquid they were in.
  • Once the onions are golden brown, add the carrots, then the brisket, then the garlic,  mushrooms and the liquid from the mushrooms.
  • Cover tightly and put in the oven for at least two hours, turning after one hour, and checking after two. If it still needs time, cook for half hour intervals until it’s tender. The cook time depends a lot on the meat, so you’ll have to use your intuition to a degree on this one. You want the meat to be fork tender, but it should still be able to be sliced, as opposed to falling apart. My brisket was small, under two pounds, and it took two hours.


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  1. Looks amazing! please recommend a type of tomato paste? Temp of oven?

    • Temp of oven! Sorry, I can sometimes proofread 17 times and still miss details. 325. Thanks Josh! And I added a link to my favorite tomato paste. (Though any type will work fine, just aim for organic if possible, and BPA-free can)

  2. Yum – will make for this years seder. Thoughts on using the crockpot instead of oven braise?

    • Sorry I’m just replying to this… I was cooking for our sedar for days and not online much… This reply is probably too late for this year, but my general rule of thumb regarding crock pots is this: I don’t have one, so can’t really offer specifics. If you use one and have a good feel for it, and how to adapt a recipe, definitely go for it! I’m working on getting a friend / colleague to adapt my braise recipes for the crockpot, so will hopefully have that info sometime soon. Happy Pesach!

  3. I know you are reformatting your site, but please put in some kind of recipe index (even like the list you had before) – it is too much clicking through, and it takes forever to load each page.


    • Working on it!

  4. I just made this, it is sooooo good. Thank you for an awesome recipe!

    • So glad you loved it!

  5. can I use the slow cooker for this instead? Thanks :)

    • I’m pretty sure you can! The only thing is that I couldn’t tell you for how long, or at what setting… If you’ve adapted other recipes from a braise to a slow cooker and feel like you know the ropes, definitely go for it! And please stop by and let us know how it went, in case others are wondering the same thing. :)

  6. Any suggestions for doing this without mushrooms? More specifically in terms of the liquid content?

    • Most of the liquid comes from the onions, so just leave them out.


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