Braised Brisket & Roots
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds brisket, trim most of the fat off
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry vermouth, or dry white wine
3 cups beef broth
4 medium carrots, peeled
3 medium parsnips, peeled
1 medium rutabaga, (about 3/4 pound), peeled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons arrowroot, or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add brisket and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Add onions to the pot; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in allspice, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and bay leaves, then pour in vermouth (or wine). Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in broth and return the brisket to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cut carrots, parsnips and rutabaga into 2- by 1/2-inch sticks.
Transfer brisket to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard bay leaves. Stir mustard into the sauce. Add the carrots, parsnips and rutabaga. Return the brisket to the pot; cover and bake for 1 hour more.
Test vegetables and brisket for tenderness by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife. As they get done, transfer to a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and set aside. If necessary, continue to cook, testing for doneness every 20 minutes. Total cooking time for the brisket may range from 2 1/2 to 5 hours, depending on the particular piece of meat.
Skim fat from the sauce. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce and intensify flavors. Dissolve arrowroot in 1 tablespoon water (or cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water); add to the simmering sauce and cook, stirring constantly, just until thickened, about 10 seconds.
Slice the brisket thinly against the grain and arrange slices on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables around the brisket. Spoon half the sauce over the meat and vegetables; pass remaining sauce separately.