Brisket is one of the more successful pieces of beef for braising or pot-roasting because of its fat, usually on either side, and the fact that it is boneless and makes beautiful slices. Further, I find it much juicier than many of the other cuts.
This is a turn-of-the-century recipe, included here because its sauce is typical of the cookery in the average good kitchen of that period.
4-pound piece of brisket
4 tablespoons beef suet, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups boiling water
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup stock
2 teaspoons onion juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Melt the suet in a braising pan, and when hot, brown the meat on all sides. Add the onion to cook in the hot fat for a few minutes; then add the bay leaves, salt, and finally the boiling water. Cover the pan and cook 15 minutes per pound over medium heat. Test for tenderness and continue cooking. Remove the cover toward the end of the cooking so that the liquid cooks down. Transfer the brisket to a hot platter. Skim off any fat in the pan and use any remaining liquid for the sauce.
For the sauce, brown the flour in the butter, stirring the while. Add the stock, the pan juices and onion juice, and continue stirring till the sauce browns well and thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roast. Also serve baked potatoes, braised turnips, and braised carrots.