Balsamic Brisket with Red Wine, Figs, and Apricots Recipe

Balsamic Brisket with Red Wine, Figs, and Apricots

Serves 6

This delicious, comforting recipe showcases a beautiful balance between sweet and tart that will make your mouth water. Pop it in the oven and let it slowly cook while you enjoy some leisure time at home—or use your electric pressure cooker for a quicker method, see instructions at the bottom.


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef brisket, cut crosswise into 2 pieces (for ease of searing)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided use
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 6 medium shallots, peeled
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Zest of 1 small orange, removed in strips with vegetable peeler
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 sprigs thyme, divided use
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 12 dried figs
  • 12 dried apricots


  1. Place brisket, fat side up, on cutting board. With fork, poke holes all over meat and through fat. Rub 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar all over meat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  3. Over medium-high heat, add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to pan. Gently lay a brisket piece into hot pan and sear on all sides. Remove to separate plate and set aside. Repeat with second brisket piece.
  4. Add garlic to pan and stir a few seconds, until fragrant. Add wine and bring to boil. Cook until reduced by half. Stir in 1 cup stock, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and herbs (reserve some thyme for garnishing at the end). Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add brisket, fat side up.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper over meat and aromatics. Top with lid of Dutch oven. Braise in preheated oven 2 1/2 hours. (Add more broth, if needed, to keep meat partially submerged in liquid.) Remove from oven and stir in reserved shallots and celery. Add figs and apricots, making sure fruit is submerged in liquid. Cover and cook 1 hour or until meat is tender.
  6. Remove meat to cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving. Remove figs, apricots, shallots, and celery to serving platter. Skim fat from pan juices. Season with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, to taste. Strain into a small pitcher or gravy boat, discarding solids. (See Cook's Tips to thicken.)
  7. Slice meat, across the grain. Place on platter with fruit and vegetables. Drizzle with sauce. Chop reserved thyme leaves and sprinkle over top. Serve with pan juices.
  8. Cook's Tips:
  9. If you don't have a Dutch oven, sauté the meat and vegetables in a large, deep skillet (steps 3 and 4) and transfer to a large casserole dish or roasting pan. Cover with parchment and a tight-fitting lid or seal tightly with foil. Proceed with oven roasting according to step 5.
  10. To thicken pan juices: Skim fat from top of juices. For each cup of pan juice, mix 2 tablespoons red wine (or water) with 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Stir into pan juice. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to simmer, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and serve warm.


Amount Per Serving (based on 6 servings)
Calories: 430
Fat: 21 g
Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Sodium: 90 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 20 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 21 g
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