Note from Pat: Before I start to brown the brisket, I make sure I know where to start to slice it AGAINST the grain after it is cooked. I look at the shape well to memorize which way the grain is going, and make sure to cut against it. It can be difficult to tell once the meat is browned and cooked.
Sprinkle the top of the brisket with PEPPER and on all sides with the flour. Put the oil in a pan that can go from stove top to oven. Heat the oil over medium heat, then brown the brisket on all sides on the stove top. When you're browning the final side, add the onions and let them become slightly browned. Sprinkle salt on brisket, if desired. Reduce the burner heat and add the BAY LEAF, PEPPERCORNS, CLOVES, and ALLSPICE. Add the water, wine, vinegar and ketchup. Stir and scrape the browned bits from the pan, incorporating them into the cooking broth. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your own family's taste. Simmer, covered, for 1/2 hour. Add the vegetables and cover the pan. Simmer over low heat on the stove top or place in a 340° oven for about 2 hours, testing occasionally for tenderness and turning the brisket so that all the sides are moistened. Check after 1 hour, and if the liquid has cooked down, reduce heat a bit and add 1/4-1/2 cup water or red wine. When thoroughly cooked, remove from the oven, let the meat rest, and then slice the brisket on an angle against the grain, laying the slices on a serving platter surrounded by the vegetables, drizzled with the gravy and garnished with some fresh parsley.
Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours
Servings 8; Serving Size 4 oz. beef, 1/2 cup vegetable/sauce mix (285g); Calories 330; Calories from fat 130; Total fat 15g; Cholesterol 95mg; Sodium 270mg; Carbohydrate 11g; Dietary Fiber 2g..