Making a giant, roasted brisket for your family or friends is basically the best way to say “I love you” through a dish. Short of getting a smoker and barbecuing it Texas style, this preparation is the next best thing. It’s so comforting, and it’s a showstopper that’s actually ridiculously simple to make. That can be our secret, though. (Want to make brisket even simpler? Try making beef brisket in your slow cooker!) While the process is simple, there can still be ways to mess things up or lingering questions you may have. Make sure to follow these steps and you’ll end up with a beautifully tender piece of meat (and hopefully, lots of leftovers for sandwiches or hash!) every time.
Season early and season well. The only “ingredients” in this brisket are salt and pepper, so you want to make sure they do their job. Go for kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (no shakers here!) to maximize flavor. Take your brisket out of the fridge, season generously on all sides, and leave it out until it gets to room temperature to begin the tenderizing process. Think dry brine, but easier.
Choose the right roasting pan. Grab your largest, heaviest, high-sided pan. Basically, the pan you only use once a year to roast your turkey on Thanksgiving. A disposable pan is okay if it’s all you’ve got, but a heavy duty one will ensure even cooking and caramelization.
Fat is your friend. Always roast fat-side-up. When you do that, the fat acts as a self-baster, dripping onto the brisket itself and the potatoes, allowing everything to braise. You don’t want too much fat, though, or things could get greasy. If you have more than ⅛ inch of fat, trim it. Nail the timing. Our foolproof ratio is 18 minutes per pound. Stick to that and you’ll be golden. Ovens can vary, though, so to really be sure your brisket is cooked through and tender, check with a fork towards the end. Poke it into the middle—the fork should go through the meat easily, with no resistance. Make it ahead of time. If you can, try to roast your brisket a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. After roasting, let it sit and cool slightly, then slice against the grain and place back into its juices. Letting it sit in that liquid allows the brisket to really soak up all those delicious flavors. You know how chicken soup is always better the day after you make it? Yeah, it’s like that. Then, reheat at a low temperature before you’re ready to serve. If it’s your first time roasting brisket, you can now be confident that you’ll absolutely nail it! Check out more holiday brisket recipes here. Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
Preheat oven to 425°. Season brisket generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place potatoes in a large roasting pan and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place brisket on top of potatoes, fat side up. Roast until brisket develops a deeply golden brown crust on top and potatoes are cooked, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 300°. At this point, remove potatoes if roasted potatoes are desired, or leave in pan for stewed potatoes. Add broth to pan and season beef again with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil. Return to oven and continue cooking until brisket is tender and a fork meets almost no resistance when inserted, about 2 hours 30 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing (against the grain for tender slices!). Serve with potatoes.