I got this recipe from my ever-handy Gourmet cookbook (BEST COOKBOOK EVER!). The meat is so tender, and the onions melt into a lovely gravy.
3 1/2 to 4 pound beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
3/4 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T olive oil
2 pounds onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 12 ounce bottle beer (not dark)*
1 dried-porcini boullion cube or beef boullion cube I didn't have either of these, I just used 1 t of seasoning salt
1 T balsamic vinegar
Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350.
Pat brisket dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 6 to 8 qt wide heavy ovenproof pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown meat well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to platter.
Add onions and bay leaf to fat remaining in pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer half of onions to a bowl. Set brisket over onions in pot, then top with remaining onions. Add beer, boullion cube, and vinegar (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat; add water if necessary) and bring to a boil.
Cover pot, transfer to oven, and braise until meat is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Let meat cool in sauce, uncovered, for 30 minutes. I was nervous about leaving a cut of meat I'd never tried before in the oven and not being at home, so I cooked it in the oven while I was home in the morning. Then, put it in the Crock pot on low while I was out of the house for another 3 hours.
Transfer brisekt to a cutting board. Skim off any fat from sauce, discard bay leaf, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Slice meat across the grain and serve with sauce.
*being a good Mormon girl, I felt a little clueless in the liquor section. I bought a bottle of Heineken, remembering that it was German beer because the Gourmet cookbook pointed out that this dish is one of the national dishes from Belgium--Belgium is close to Germany, hence my selection