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Slow-Cooker Beer-Braised Brisket

Slow-Cooker Beer-Braised Brisket

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Broiling the brisket gives it a nice crisp top layer, but you can skip this step and it will still be delicious. Braising the meat with beer in the slow cooker, however? Absolutely necessary.


  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 4-5 pounds untrimmed flat-cut brisket, cut into 4” pieces
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

Recipe Preparation

  • Finely chop garlic in a food processor. Add brown sugar, mustard, oil, black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons salt and process until smooth. Rub all over brisket, working into crevices. Wrap in plastic; chill 1–2 days. Let meat sit out until it’s room temperature, about 1 hour.

  • Scatter onions in a 4–6-quart slow cooker and add brisket, fat side up. Add beer and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until meat is very tender, 7–8 hours on low or 4–5 hours on high.

  • Heat broiler. Transfer brisket, onions, and any braising liquid to a large oven-proof skillet or roasting pan. Broil brisket, uncovered, until top is browned and crisp, 5–10 minutes.

  • Let brisket cool slightly. Remove from pan and shred or slice. Remove onions with a slotted spoon; mix into brisket. Taste and moisten with some cooking liquid and season with salt, if needed.

  • Do ahead: Brisket can be braised 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat, covered, at 325° for 1½ hours.

Reviews SectionThe ingredient list is contradicted by the instructions and photos. “4-5 pounds untrimmed flat-cut brisket, cut into 4” pieces“Why cut into pieces?

Beer Braised Brisket

This is a bit of a Frankenstein recipe- the cooler weather has me craving all the comfort foods. All week I day-dreamed of a stew-y beef dish. I looked up recipes and found beer braising would create a deeper, more complex flavor than I could have with spices alone. I also wanted mashed potatoes because, well, I always want mashed potatoes. I perused Pinterest and Instagram for some recipe inspo and saw tons of yummy recipes for smoked brisket, which inspired me to use a Texas style barbeque rub.

Basically this was a combination of all things I craved colliding. Luckily it turned out amazing!

If you’re a fan of juicy melt-in-your-mouth brisket that’s both sweet and spicy, this recipe is for you. The rub is store bought, which I tasted and found a little hot so I added some brown sugar to balance it out. For super tender texture, I left it on low in the slow cooker overnight for ten hours in a a sealed foil packet, topped with chopped carrots and boiler onions. The layer of fat left could be broiled off for additional sweet caramelized flavor , but it tastes just fine without the extra step.

Beer Braised Brisket

Prep takes about 10 minutes. Cooking happens in a slow cooker for about 10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours for best results, so plan accordingly.

  • 2 lbs flat cut brisket, untrimmed
  • 3 tbsp Private Selection Texas Barbeque Seasoning Rub
  • 1 cup porter beer- I used Stone Smoked Porter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water for beer braise
  • 1 cup of water for the bottom of the crock pot
  • 3 cups chopped carrots (about 3 thin roots)
  • 5 boiler onions, cut in half

Wash and pat dry brisket. Do not trim the fat as it will slowly render off on its own while keeping the meat juicy. Cover completely in spice rub and place onto a sheet of foil large enough to seal off all sides, creating a taut packet. If one sheet isn’t wide enough, use two sheets.

Top with brown sugar, then arrange the vegetables, evenly covering the top like so:

Wrap up the sides, sealing them off well enough so that the beer will not leak out of the bottom, but leaving the top open for now. Add a cup of water into your crock pot. Place the brisket in the center of the pot, then slowly pour beer and 1/4 cup of water into the foil packet. Seal the top of the packet, so there is a little bit of air inside. Cover the pot, and keep the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.

Slowly remove foil packet from crock pot. Open the packet carefully, as hot steam will come out. With tongs, move vegetables to a medium sized bowl. Avoiding the hot steam, pour juice from foil packet into the same bowl.

Ta-da! Your brisket will look beautiful just like this one.

Skim oil off the top of the reserved cooking liquid, so you can serve the carrots, onion, and juices along with the brisket.

You can serve the brisket in thin slices- always make sure to cut against the grain like pictured below.

Place slices onto plates and pour a few teaspoons of cooking juices over them. If you plan on serving pulled brisket, you can cut larger slices and loosely tear them apart with your hands.

These come out so juicy and tender, with a nice balance of sweet and spicy flavor, every slice will be gone in no time.

I served mine atop a big dollop of creamy mashed potatoes. The perfect start to a breezy (and lazy) Sunday.


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Short Ribs Make Ahead Recipe Tips for the Slow Cooker

While the short ribs may be the star of this recipe, the sauce is equally delectable. When I make this beef ribs recipe (and I make it often), I combine all of the sauce ingredients, minus the beer, the night before.

Then, in the morning, all I have to do is place the ribs and onions in the slow cooker and pour the sauce mixture and beer over the top. Could it get any easier?

Fast forward eight to ten hours and you have perfectly tender ribs nestled in a rich, decadent sauce.

You won’t even need a knife to eat these beer braised short ribs – they simply fall off of the bone. To soak up all of the deliciousness, I usually serve them with my easy go-to Parmesan Orzo, or if I have the time, my 18-Minute Risotto.

Other fantastic options to serve this with are…

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsalted margarine
  • 1 ½ cups Worcestershire sauce (such as Lea & Perrins®), divided
  • 1 (5 pound) beef brisket
  • 2 cups red wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container beef broth (such as Progresso®)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (such as Lea & Perrins®)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Mix paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Set spice mixture aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat cook and stir mushrooms and shallots until mushrooms have released their liquid, 5 to 8 minutes. Set mushroom mixture aside.

Melt 1/4 cup margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce. Rub beef brisket thoroughly with spice mixture place brisket into the margarine and Worcestershire sauce.

Brown the brisket well on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. As the Worcestershire sauce cooks into the brisket, pour in more, about 1/2 cup at a time, until 1 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce has been added.

Place a rack into a heavy Dutch oven place the brisket onto the rack. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce pan drippings, red wine, water, garlic, and beef broth. Top the brisket with the mushroom mixture. Drizzle 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce over the mushrooms and top with 2 tablespoons sliced unsalted margarine.

Cover the Dutch oven and bake brisket in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake 1 more hour. Reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C) and bake 1 additional hour. Baste with pan drippings every hour.

Let the brisket rest for about 20 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with pan gravy.

Root Beer Brisket

Did you know that I have a brand spankin’ new Facebook page? I do. It is so cute, it hurts.

I realized that making a Facebook fan page so-cute-that-it-hurts was above my skill set, so I did what any girl would do, I hired out. (The girls at Tarte are amazing. I highly recommend them.) I went to my Facebook page to answer a reader question, and imagine my surprise when I found this gorgeousness in place of my sad and tired old one. There she was, all pretty and organized, and best of all – MINE! I love it so much that I spend a lot more time over there. And you know what happens over there? We talk about stuff. Real conversations. About all kinds of stuff. Downton Abbey. Cool stuff around the Interwebs. You get the idea. You can view my Instagram feed (I am bakedbree if you would like to follow me). You can also see my new Baked Bree Pinterest Boards. Take a look around. There is some really fun stuff, and it is going to be changing. New things will be added and it will be updated frequently.

Yesterday on my Facebook page, I mentioned that I was in a cooking mood, and that I was busting things out of my kitchen. Before 10am, I had already made 3 things. I mentioned that I was making this root beer brisket. I got quite a few requests for the recipe. As much as I would like to, I don’t blog everything that I cook at home. In fact, I don’t even blog some of the things that I make with the intention of blogging them. But, that being said, if you ask me for a recipe, I try my hardest to give it to you. What can I say? I am a people-pleaser. And if we were not having a conversation about it on Facebook, you would not be seeing it here today, (or in such a timely manner might I add). This brisket really was delicious, and worth being shared. So, come on over. Like me. Because I really like you, and I want to get to know you better.

1 (3 1/2 pound) brisket, trimmed
salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup barbecue sauce (I like Stubb’s Sweet Heat)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups root beer

Trim your brisket if it has a lot of fat. Season well with salt and pepper. Both sides.

Add the brisket to a very hot pan. Brown on both sides. My slow cooker has a browning feature, so I can do it directly in my slow cooker. The lazy girl in me loves that I do not have to dirty an extra pan.

Transfer the brisket to your slow cooker. Cover the top with sliced onions.

Mix together tomato paste, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, garlic, and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the brisket.

Pour over root beer.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.

From here, you can slice and serve. Maybe a potato or a vegetable? This makes enough for at least two meals in my house, maybe even three. Tonight, I am going to shred the leftovers and make a barbecue beef sandwich. This is incredibly versatile. I have even used leftovers for crazy good tacos. It reminds me of my Passover Brisket, but less sweet.

Beer Braised Brisket

This oh-so-soft beer braised brisket requires little effort. Sit back and relax while your dinner makes itself in the crockpot!

Tip: Add 1 to 2 cups beef broth to crockpot for added depth of flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon instant ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (4-pound) brisket
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (24-ounce) stout or ale


1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, brown sugar, cumin, coffee, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder stir to mix. Rub mix all over to coat brisket.

2. Heat evoo in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brisket and sear 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.

3. Transfer to a slow cooker and add beer. Cook on high setting for 4 hours or low setting for 8 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.

4. Transfer braising liquid to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for 12 to 16 minutes, or until liquid is thickened and reduced to ½ cup. Pour over brisket to serve.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 ½ pounds flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups pale ale
  • 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 carrots, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 celery stalks, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of brisket. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan swirl to coat. Add brisket sauté 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove brisket from pan. Add beer bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and garlic return to a boil. Return brisket to pan. Cover and cook at 325° for 2 hours. Turn brisket over cook an additional 2 hours. Turn brisket over. Add carrot, celery, and onion cook an additional 1 hour or until brisket is very tender.

Remove brisket and vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon. Skim fat from cooking liquid discard fat. Bring cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Place flour in a small bowl stir in 1/2 cup water. Add flour mixture to pan, stirring until smooth bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the sauce with beef and vegetables.

Beer Braised Beef Brisket Recipe


  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (370 ml) light beer
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 5 oz (150 g) pared all-purpose potato,thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound (240 g) cubed cooked beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon browning sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

In 3-quart saucepan heat oil. Add onions and carrots and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, for 2-3 min.

Step 2

Sprinkle all-purpose flour over onion and stir quickly to combine cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 min. Add beer, half cup water, mustard, vinegar, and thyme stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil.

Step 3

Reduce heat to low, add potato and let simmer until potato is tender about 15-20 min Add beef, browning sauce, and pepper and stir to combine. Cook until beef is heated through,2-3 min.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket, trimmed of fat
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Season the beef brisket with salt, and place in a baking dish. Cover the entire roast with onion slices. In a medium bowl, mix together the beer, brown sugar, beef bouillon, pepper, garlic bay leaf and thyme. Pour over the roast. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 4 hours in the preheated oven. The brisket should be fork-tender. Mix together the cornstarch and water stir into the juices in the baking dish to thicken. Remove the bay leaf. Slice and serve the meat.


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