Belgian Ale-Braised Beef Brisket

I’ve never known much what to do with beef brisket. Sure, you can smoke it, but that’s hardly an option now that the temperature in Maine has dropped into the single-digits. I guess I could stand outside for hours, nursing the smoker, shifting from one foot to the other to keep warm, but what fun would that be? My beer would probably freeze!

Instead, this recipe makes combining two of my favorite things, high-test Belgian-style beer and big cuts of beef, into something that I can enjoy without leaving the relative warmth of my kitchen. Thanks to our friends at Omaha Steaks (who provided the brisket, and who are sponsoring our ongoing December giveaway), I had a beautiful cut of brisket, all trimmed and ready for the pot. A few onions, a little beef stock, a big bottle of Allagash Tripel, and a few hours of patience was all it took to turn this big, typically tough cut into fall-apart tender slices of beef perfect for a Winter supper. It even makes its own gravy.

A few notes: Be careful of your cooking time. You want your meat to be tender, but to hold a slice when you cut it across the grain. If you cook it too long, it will still be tender, but will want to shred instead of slice (as you can partly starting to happen see in our photos). If the braising liquid is too thin after the meat comes out of the pot, simmer it uncovered until it reduces slightly, then serve with the meat and plenty of roasted potatoes.


Belgian Ale-Braised Beef Brisket

  • Yield: Serves 8 1x


  • 1 3-4-lb. piece flat-cut beef brisket, untrimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 750-ml bottle Belgian-style tripel ale
  • 4 cups beef stock


  1. Season brisket on all sides with salt. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight. Before cooking, let meat sit at room temperature for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, combine mustard, brown sugar, and ginger. Remove brosket from plastic, and place on a wire rack inside a large baking sheet. Rub mustard mixture on all sides of brisket, and roast until top begins to develop roasted brown spots, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 300.
  3. While oven cools slightly, heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown, about ten minutes. Add flour and cook until flour browns and becomes fragrant, about four minutes more. Add beer and beef stock, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add brisket, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook, flipping brisket every 30 minutes, until tender, about 3-4 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve with reduced braising liquid.


Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit

Disclosure: Omaha Steaks provided the product for this recipe, but is not otherwise responsible for the content. All opinions are our own.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.

1 Comment

  1. This is the best brisket I ever had…in fact, the whole meal, with oven roasted potatoes and perfectly cooked asparagus? One for the books! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for Christmas, let alone New Year’s…you’re some kind of cook, Malcolm!

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