I promised myself that I would use my slow cooker more often this this fall, and this recipe was a great way to kick things off. The beef is super tender with fantastic flavor, and the sauce is rich and warm. The fennel and carrots cook the whole time the beef is cooking, so they do get very soft. I thought that was nice in this dish, but if you want the veggies to have more of a bite, you could add them later or even cook them separately. I might double the carrots next time as there didn't seem to be quite enough to me. I served the brisket over extra creamy potato puree - Yukon golds mashed with lots of butter and milk. I thought this was the perfect accompaniment to the beef and veggies, but you could also serve this with noodles or something else on the side -- I ate some of the leftovers over a baked sweet potato, which was really tasty.
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Fennel and Carrots (adapted from Haute Apple Pie, original recipe here)
Salt and pepper
2 pounds beef brisket
3 medium cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
6 ounces lager (about half a bottle)
1 large bulb fennel, cut into large pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 T spicy brown mustard
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp paprika
Beef or chicken broth
1. Heat a few good glugs of vegetable oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper.
2. Brown the brisket on all sides in the oil. Remove from the pan and place in the slow cooker.
3. Add the garlic to the oil and saute for a minute until softened Add the lager and simmer for about 1 minute. Pour over the beef.
4. Place the pieces of fennel and carrot around the meat.
5. Whisk together the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika. Pour over the brisket. Add broth as needed so that the liquid comes most of the way up the meet (not necessary for it to be totally submerged).
6. Cook on low for 8 hours, flipping the meat halfway through. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.