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Searing Brisket

The brisket recipe I use most often doesn't call for searing the brisket before braising. I'm using a different recipe this time where searing is called for. I'm making a very large brisket and it won't fit in my LC round oven, so I'll braise it in a roasting pan, covered tightly with foil. My question is, what's the best way to sear the meat? Should it be done in the roasting pan on the stove top? Can it be done by preheating the roasting pan in the oven and oven-searing it? Should I cut the brisket in half and sear each half separately in the LC pot? Or is there some other way? Thanks!

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  1. I would cut it in half and sear it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Unkle Al

      That was going to be my fallback method. Thanks!

    2. Depending on how sturdy your roasting pan is, you could do it on the stove top, but I would suggest in the oven @ 450. No oil splatter on the stove top that way....and no need to cut in half

      1 Reply
      1. re: fourunder

        ...but then there's the matter of browning the veggies in the same pan.

      2. Or you could just skip the searing. I've made brisket both ways many times, and I can never tell the difference between seared and not once it has braised for a long time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          I totally agree with you about skipping the searing, Hungry, but this recipe also calls for browning onions, celery, carrots, shallots and garlic in the same pan, which is then deglazed. My tried-and-true recipe is never seared, but it uses a somewhat different approach (raw veggies), and the braising liquid is beer and chili sauce -- not good for Passover.

        2. At best this searing adds a bit of flavor. It is not essential, even if the recipe calls for it. In my experience, the longer the braise, the less the significance of an initial sear.

          5 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            ...and since the brisket will braise for about 4 hours, that will probably erase any benefit that once existed.

            1. re: CindyJ

              However, if you plan on creating a sauce/gravy....you need those brown bits.

              1. re: fourunder

                What I generally do for the gravy is to remove the meat from the pan, de-fat the liquid in the pan, and then use my immersion blender to puree the veggies with the braising liquid. No need to thicken it, no need to reduce it. Those brown bits will add another level of flavor, but it'll still be delicious even without them.

                Or... maybe I should sear in a hot oven, as you suggested, then remove the pan from the oven, remove the meat from the pan, and brown the veggies in the pan on the stovetop across two burners. It's times like this that I wish I had a heavy-duty All-Clad roasting pan.

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I don't think you can go wrong with any of the methods suggested.....my suggestion is to go with what takes less to clean up....that is, less pots or pans or sheet pans. You can certainly use a thin roasting pan on the stove top...but be sure to use no more than a medium flame so you do not burn instead of brown.

                2. re: fourunder

                  Are you talking about brown bits in the braising pan, or in a separate one? Wouldn't the braising liquid be a good base a sauce?

            2. I just seared my monster brisket by putting it on a baking sheet in the oven under the broiler. Easy and seems to do the trick.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Nyleve

                I LOVE that idea! Easy and no-mess. Thanks!

              2. Throw it on the grill (assuming you have a gas grill). Adds a little character as well as color.

                My preferred method is to smoke first, then braise.

                1. I agree with other posters that it isn't strictly necessary, but if you do, tossing it in a hot oven on a baking sheet or even in the roasting pan is a simple and easy way to do it.

                  Here's what I do:

                  http://foodslinger.tv/Jewish_Holidays...

                  Hope you find it helpful.

                  1. I put my uncovered whole brisket in a hotter (350C) oven for the first 2 hours, then foil cover and let it go for another 4 (300C). Makes for a good brown sauce...you could always place the veggies in, let roast with the brisket, then remove all solids, strain the fat out with one of those fat separator measuring cups (I find way too much fat in whole brisket) and make your sauce with that.