• Braised Beef Brisket


Brisket ‘a la Guida’

By Andrew Zimmern

Serve this braised beef brisket with plenty of potato pancakes and noodle kugel.

Brisket 'a la Guida'


  • 5 to 7 pound beef brisket, trimmed, nose off. You can use the first or second cut of brisket – the first cut is fattier, but cooks easier. The second cut is flat and leaner.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta (omit if you are observant)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup green olives, green Lugques work best
  • 1 cup sweet red vermouth
  • 1 cup dessert wine such as a muscat beaumes de venise, late harvest riesling or sauternes
  • 3 dried hot chiles
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups chopped San Marzano tomatoes


SERVINGS: 8 to 10

Simmer the tomatoes down to a volume of  2 cups and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Brown the brisket in the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Reserve.

Drain the fat, add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned. Add the vegetables, olives and seasonings. Cook until softened.

Add the tomatoes and liquids to the vegetables.

When the sauce is simmering, place the brisket and the sauce in a large roasting pan. Cover and place in a 250-degree oven.

Braise for 4 hours until meat is tender and liquids have reduced. You may want to take the meat out and reduce the sauce a bit on its own to tighten it up once the meat is cooked. I like to cool the meat in the sauce overnight to increase the tenderness factor.

Season with the salt, pepper and vinegar. Slice and serve.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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