Thursday, 4 November 2021

Slow Cooked Beef Brisket (not Corned Beef) with Prunes and Vegetables

I'm enjoying a reprieve from the balmy tropical heat of November, as temperatures lower, the sea breezes lighten our mood and the occasional shower of rain brings relief to the parched lawns and to us. It's meant to last the whole week, and I am making the most of it by slow cooking a piece of beef brisket in the most delicious way, and by slow cooking I mean low and slow, using my new stove top and the oven in tandem with each other. I haven't succumbed to using my slow cooker this time. In time I might, but I wanted to be in control of the tenderness required for this cut of meat. 

So what is Beef Brisket? Have you only eaten it cooked, sliced and cold from the butcher or the deli? It's a cut of beef that needs to be slow cooked until it is tender on the fork, but still slices easily, unlike some other cuts such as chuck, whilst delicious for beef stews, can shred after lots of slow cooking.  Brisket seems to keep its integrity. Beef brisket is a large primal cut of beef taken from the lower breast of the cow, which the cow constantly exercises. It has become very popular as a preferred cut of meat for corned beef, pho, smoked brisket, pot roasts and many more. However depending on how it is to be used, the distinction needs to be made between using the Point or the Flat part of the brisket. Its important to have a good butcher, who knows the cuts of meat and will give you a good cut of meat depending on how you want to cook it. Also hopefully a butcher where the meat is constantly being moved to the customer, and is grass fed. Brisket has a very meaty flavour, and an amazing texture.

This recipe is from the Monday Morning Cooking Club recipe book, which a friend of mine owns, and where I first tasted this dish causing me to wax lyrical about it all evening and to think about it during the whole of the following week. The flavours in this dish are to die for.  I read where Brisket is the most popular primary cut used for a Jewish Pot Roast, which makes sense, as even though this was said by a beef expert in the United States, the ladies who make up the Monday Morning Cooking Club are all Jewish Australian, and amazing cooks. 

This is my kind of meal. Perhaps it's partially because of my background, from growing up in Beef Country in Rockhampton, Central Queensland, or Rocky as the locals call it and who also claim it as the Beef Capital of Australia. We ate a lot of beef when I was growing up at home in Rocky, and vegetables as well I hasten to add, but that was before we realised the need to reduce our meat consumption for environmental and health reasons and also chicken and lamb were quite expensive back then, which is hard to believe now. My Great Uncle, Lionel De Landelles, founded the first Brahman cattle stud in the Rockhampton area near Yeppoon, (Cherokee Brahman Stud) and was the first Cattleman to import Brahman Cattle to Central Queensland. He became quite legendary for his work with the Zebus from India, which the beautiful Brahman cattle originated from.  They are a very sturdy animal in the hot areas of Queensland and in the tropics, distinguishable by a hump just above their shoulders. So you could say that a love of good beef is in my genes. However when I cook beef now, I like to know where the meat came from, and I really appreciate it when I can eat a spectacular cut of meat like this. I think it's a great thing that now we don't take eating good meat for granted.

This recipe serves 8 people.


 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 kg (4 lb. 8 oz) piece fresh beef brisket

2 onions, halved and sliced into wedges

1 kg waxy potatoes (such as kipfler), peeled and thickly sliced if you can get them. (I used washed small potatoes and left the skins on)

400 g (1 1/4 cups) pitted prunes

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

175 g (1/2 cup) golden syrup

2 tablespoons lemon juice


This brisket and the vegetables will be cooked on the stove top for the first 1 1/2 hours so you will need a very large saucepan to hold the meat and the vegetables. 

Heat the oil in the pan  and brown the brisket on both sides. 

Add the potatoes, the onions, three quarters of the prunes and 2 teaspoons of salt. 

Cover with boiling water and half the golden syrup. Bring to boil, partially cover then simmer until quite tender, at least 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C (350 deg. F /Gas 4).

Take the meat out of the liquid and place in an ovenproof dish. Strain and reserve the liquid and spoon the onion, potatoes and prunes on top of the brisket. 

Pour enough liquid into the dish so that it comes halfway up the meat. This is about half the liquid from the cooking saucepan.

Top with the remaining prunes and golden syrup. Sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper. Roast uncovered, basting about every 15 minutes, for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

To serve, sprinkle with lemon juice, and enjoy all the delicious scrapings from the bottom of the dish.

The prunes might look as if they are burnt but they are not, just deliciously cooked.

Hoping you enjoy a wonderful weekend with friends and loved ones.

Warm wishes,



  1. Beef brisket is one of my absolute favourite cut. It's so much more flavourful and delicious when done right. Prepared with prunes is something I haven't tried yet. Thanks for the inspiration, Pauline.

    1. Thanks Angie, Brisket is expensive here, but the results are well worth it.

  2. Great recipe, and I will try it. The weather has been lovely and cool in Brisbane too. I am enjoying it while I can. Your photos are lovely. Cheers

    1. Thanks Bernie, I'm sure you will enjoy this dish. Hope the storms in Brisbane haven't affected you.

  3. we are not big meat eaters so i don't think i've eaten this cut. It sounds very tasty tho, and i love slow cooked meat when i do eat it. mmm i'm thinking of beef cheeks :)

  4. Thanks Sherry, I prefer brisket for this type of recipe, but beef cheeks are delicious too. We eat meat in moderation now as well, so when I cook it, it has to be great.

  5. This sounds absolutely wonderful, Pauline. I imagine the prunes give the gravy such a rich, dark flavor. As I’m not a huge fan of corn to beef, this would definitely be my preference. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for your reply, the prunes just took this gravy to a whole new level with the richness of the beef.Can't recommend it enough.

  6. Recipe looks great and i really want to cook this combination in a clay-pot in low heat. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. That sounds like a great idea, please let me know how it goes. Thanks so much for your comment.


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