Slow cooker beef brisket with mushroom gravy – an easy way to cook meltingly soft brisket.
How is everyone doing? How has the new year been treating you so far? I – and pretty much my entire family – am suffering from a truly stinking cold which came on suddenly and has left everyone in a state. Despite that, we managed to have wonderful New Year’s eve, cooking up a storm and sharing a meal with our friends next door. We even managed to stay up past midnight – quite a feat when young children are involved!
Now we are slowly getting back to our normal routine: our wonderful Christmas tree has been dismantled, the new toys are gradually migrating upstairns in the kids rooms and it’s clean the fridge and freezer time. I was thinking we had nothing to eat until I unearthed a large rolled brisket in the freezer. Add a carton of button mushrooms, mushroom stock, shallots, a little cream and let your slow cooker do its magic!
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This recipe could not be simpler, but I have grabbed some snaps to walk you through it anyway 🙂 If you are using frozen brisket then allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight. Pat the meat dry with kitchen towels and then season well with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, Marsala or vermouth (basically whatever you happen to have handy) and put the pan juices aside. Sweat the shallots until really soft – this can take up to ten minutes and then pan fry the mushrooms briefly. Add the stock and seasonings and transfer everything to your slow cooker. That’s pretty much it! Serve with buttery mash to soak up all the wonderful gravy.
- 1 kg 240g | 2lbs 7oz rolled beef brisket
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- large splash white wine or Marsala, sherry or vermouth
- 4 large shallots peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and finely sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 200 g | 7oz button chestnut mushrooms sliced in half
- 240 ml | 1 cup mushroom stock you can also use beef stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsbp conflour cornstarch + 1 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp English mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 60 ml | 1/4 cup double cream
- chopped parsley to serve
- mashed potatoes to serve
- Pat your beef dry with some kitchen paper. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat on all sides. Set aside.
- Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine and pour the pan juices into a small bowl to use later.
- Mix the cornflour with the cold water to make a slurry. Make the mushroom stock (I used a Knorr stock cube) and mix in the reserved pan juices, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cornflour and English mustard.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and pan fry the shallots and garlic over medium-low heat. Season and sprinkle them with the sugar and continue to cook, stirring so that they don't stick, until they are soft, 7-10 minutes.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and pan fry for a minute then add the stock. Bring to a simmer and transfer to your slow cooker. Add the bay leaf and thyme sprig.
- Add the brisket, fat side up, and cook for 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
- Remove the brisket from the slow cooker and put on a plate, loosely covered with foil.
- Add the cream to the slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, for another 20 minutes (see notes). Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Stir in the chopped parsley right at the end.
- Slice the brisket and serve with mashed potatoes and smothered in the mushroom gravy.
If you want the gravy to be quite thick, you can transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until it thickens.