Slow-Cooked Brisket in Onion Gravy

Slow-Cooked Brisket in Onion Gravy

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011

This brisket is cooked with beef broth and loads of onions that melt down into a luscious gravy. Serve the brisket and gravy over a mound of steaming mashed potatoes with a side of green beans or sliced carrots for a perfect Sunday dinner.

Ingredients 14 servings

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  • 5 pounds flat-cut beef brisket (see Note), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Cut brisket into two or three pieces small enough to fit into a Dutch oven; pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and brown the brisket one piece at a time, about 2 minutes per side, adding an extra tablespoon of oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the brisket to a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add beef broth and salt; bring to a boil.
  3. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the brisket reaches desired tenderness (see Timing Tip), 4 to 5 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.
  4. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and slice or shred. Place in a serving dish; cover to keep warm. Transfer the gravy to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil rapidly for 5 minutes to reduce slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, mix butter and flour in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Once the gravy has reduced, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Whisk half the butter mixture into the gravy and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until it thickens slightly, 1 to 3 minutes. If the gravy does not thicken enough (it should have the consistency of a cream soup), add the rest of the butter mixture and repeat. Do not overcook. Serve the brisket with the gravy.
  6. Variation: Use 3 cups leftover brisket and 2 cups gravy to make Brisket Sloppy Joes. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 seeded and diced green bell pepper and 1 seeded and minced jalapeno pepper (optional) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 drained 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons chili powder and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 3 cups chopped Slow-Cooked Brisket, 2 cups Onion Gravy, 2 tablespoons molasses and 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to meld flavors. Serve on warm whole-wheat or onion buns.
  7. Per serving: 461 calories; 15 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 34 g added sugars; 34 g protein; 6 g fiber; 855 mg sodium; 864 mg potassium.
  8. Nutrition bonus: Zinc (73% daily value), Vitamin C (63% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv).
  9. 2½ Carbohydrate Servings
  10. Exchanges: 1½ starch, 2 vegetable, 1 carbohydrate (other), 4 lean meat, 1 fat
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare onion mixture (Step 2) using 2 tablespoons oil (instead of 1) to cook the onions. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To finish, complete Step 1, bring the onion mixture to a simmer and finish with Steps 3-5. The cooked brisket and gravy can b
  • Equipment: Large (5- to 6-quart) slow cooker
  • Timing Tip: Cook the brisket for the shorter amount of time suggested if you prefer firmer, sliceable meat. If you like it to be falling apart, for shredding rather than slicing, set your timer for the longer time.
  • Note: Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty, but the flat “first-cut” is much leaner than the fattier “point cut.” It may be worth calling ahead to make sure your supermarket or butcher has one on hand.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 248 calories; 10 g fat(4 g sat); 1 g fiber; 8 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 23 mcg folate; 92 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 241 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 35 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 386 mg sodium; 455 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat

Reviews 9

November 26, 2017
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By: Meagan Passmore
Love this recipe. I've made it so many times with different cuts of beef (leaner cuts do great due to the long cook time and lots of moisture). It's a great standard roast and I always have a happy family when it's made!
May 15, 2015
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slow cooked beef brisket Whenever I try a recipe for the first time I always follow the recipe with the ingredients called for and prepared as specified. The brisket had a very good taste and was extremely tender. The sauce however was another thing. It was very bland and runny of which I couldn't bring myself to even try to serve. I will not be making this recipe again. Pros: brisket was good Cons: sauce was horrible
January 22, 2015
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By: Nicole Barnhouse
Good Brisket, not a fan of the sauce I made this as a regular pot roast and put the brisket on a plate to eat. It was very good with the flavor from the onions, but after I made the gravy I realized it was a very intense onion flavor that almost made my eyes water. I think next time I will add a few more vegetables to the crock pot like celery and carrots. Pros: Brisket had a really good flavor Cons: The sauce was very intense
January 04, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Simply Easy & Awesome Love this dish, have made it many times. We usually have gravy left over so I freeze it and use it again the next time we make it. Delicious!
November 21, 2011
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By: AuntBeeWannaBe
So simple! I made this right by the recipe and it was so very good. I have never had beef brisket...only corned beef brisket and totally enjoyed it! Didn't brown it and it still turned out great.This is a keeper. Pros: Can put together quickly
October 02, 2011
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First time brisket Never made brisket before so I was a little wary but it was great. I didn't have the option of getting "first cut" for a leaner meal, since there was none available. I made the onion tomato mixture the night before and put it in the refrige so it would be a quick am prep. Did not brown the meat. It was a bit fatty as expected but really delicious. I refrigerated left overs, skimmed the fat and made the sloppy joe's which were great too. Overall, a delicious, easy two for one recipe. Pros: none Cons: none
January 17, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Great brisket This was delicious and my dinner guests loved it. I was out of thyme, so I replaced it with dried oregano. I cooked the brisket on my slow-cooker's "low" setting. The result was a tender, fall-apart juicy hunk of meat. I can't wait to try the sloppy joe's, next.
January 12, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious! Great for company. I make a very similar version of this recipe. What I do is cook it the day before I want to serve it. Refrigerate the meat in the gravy. The fat will rise to the top and you could skim it if you like. Slice the meat while cold. Place in oven proof dish and reheat in oven at 350. Pros: .
January 05, 2011
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By: CalvinD49
Outstanding One of the best brisket recipes I've tried in a long time. We served it over egg noodles. Since there is only two of us, we will probably get four meals out of it Pros: Just plan good Cons: Maybe a little fatty
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