4-5 pounds beef brisket, trimmed

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

Fresh thyme sprigs


Dry the brisket with paper towels. Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic powders in a bowl. Rub this mixture all over the brisket.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sear the brisket in olive oil until golden (about 3-4 minutes per side), then place in the slow cooker.

Sauté onion and garlic in the skillet until soft. Add beef broth to deglaze, then the vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes before pouring over the brisket.

Add bay leaves and thyme to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until tender.

Let the brisket rest before slicing. Serve with gravy made from the cooking juices.

Variations & Tips:

Add honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness.

Include chipotle or chili flakes for heat.

Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry for a gravy-like consistency.

Patience is key to unlocking the brisket's full potential – a slow and steady cook yields a dish rich in flavor and tenderness. Dive into this culinary journey, and prepare for a feast that celebrates the simple pleasures of home-cooked meals.