Slow Cooker Brisket with Balsamic Onion Gravy
This Slow Cooker Brisket with Balsamic Onion Gravy is the perfect low fuss meal for winter. The meat is fall apart tender and smothered in a deliciously rich gravy that you will want to drink with a spoon, it’s just so flavourful! Don’t have a slow cooker? No problem, you can also make this in a pot in the oven. This brisket is Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
This is not your average brisket. The meat is so dang tender and smothered in a rich caramelized onion and balsamic sauce that is like a fancy spin on gravy. Since creating this recipe last month I have made it 4 times since because it’s just so easy and low fuss to make, and everyone can’t get enough of the rich flavours. This is a great recipe to make for a simple family dinner, when you are feeding a crowd, or even when you want to impress, it really ticks all of the boxes.
Why this slow cooker brisket is so good:
- The meat is next level tender! There are absolutely no knives required to eat this fall apart tender brisket. If you are a fan of shredded/slow cooked meat than you will LOVE this recipe.
- It’s truly fuss free: This is such a great dish to serve for Christmas/or a meal when you don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. You can make it a few days in advance and absolutely no one will know. Put the brisket + sauce ingredients in the slow cooker and just leave it to cook, it truly couldn’t be any easier!
- The sauce!! This sauce is next level incredible and so much more than your average gravy. It’s rich and a perfect balance of sweet and sour thanks to the addition of balsamic and honey and it’s loaded with caramelized onions.
- Great for feeding a crowd: This is such a great wallet friendly dish to serve a big group.
- Leftovers: the meat keeps incredibly well so I highly recommend making extra to freeze for easy meals throughout the winter.
Can I use a different cut of meat?
Don’t have brisket? No worries! Brisket is a very tough cut of meat because it contains lots of connective tissue. Similar tough cuts of meat that are ideal for slow cooking and could be used in its place include boneless chuck roast, blade roast, beef shanks or even short ribs would all work! You may just need to adjust the cook time depending on the size of the cut of beef, ie short ribs will likely take an hour less to cook in the slow cooker vs a large chuck roast.
Can I make it on the stovetop/oven?
You absolutely can! Sear the brisket on all sides in a large oven proof pot/dutch oven on medium high heat. Set it aside before adding the onions and garlic and cooking for a few minutes as per step 2. After adding the liquid to the pot and returning the seared brisket, cover the pot with a lid and transfer to the oven and cook at 325ºF (160ºC) for 3 to 4 hours until the brisket is fall apart tender.
Can I make it in an Instant Pot?
Yup! After searing the brisket, cook it in the balsamic sauce for 75 minutes on high pressure followed by 15 minute natural release.
Can I make this in advance?
Absolutely! I personally think that this brisket is even better when it’s made in advance, the meat becomes even more tender and flavourful when its had time to rest in the sauce. Cook the brisket to the end of step 4, up to 3 days in advance and store it in the fridge in the sauce to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out. 30 minutes before serving, bring the brisket out of the fridge and use a spoon to scoop any of the hardened fat from the top of the pot. Place the brisket on a baking tray and heat it up in the oven while you prepare the sauce (step 5-7).
Tips for making this slow cooker brisket
- Sear the meat first. I find that searing the meat on all sides first adds really good flavour to the brisket and helps to develop a crust.
- Don’t stress if the brisket doesn’t fit in your slow cooker, you can cut it into two even sized pieces which should be much easier to get in.
- I find that cutting the brisket into thick slices is a more visually appealing way to serve it. But that being said, you can just as easily shred it with two forks and serve the shredded meat in a big bowl. If slicing the brisket, be sure to cut it against the grain.
What should I serve this slow cooker brisket with?
- Mash! I highly recommend that you serve this brisket on mash to sop up all of that yummy sauce. You can keep it simple with a side of creamy cauliflower mash or for something with a bit more flavour try this carrot & butternut squash mash.
- A side of something green to lighten things up such as green beans, roasted broccoli or charred asparagus.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. This meat freezes incredibly well and will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Here are a few more date night/dinner party recipes that you might enjoy…
- Braised Short Ribs in an AMAZING Sauce
- Seared Scallops on Cauliflower Puree
- Coq no Vin
- Braised Lamb Shanks
- Creamy Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Crab & Shrimp Ravioli with Lemon Tomato Sauce
- Whole30 Braised Short Ribs
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Slow Cooker Brisket with Balsamic Onion Gravy
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lbs brisket
- 3 onions thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp honey
- Turn the slow cooker on to saute/sear and add in the oil. Once the oil is hot, place the brisket in the pot and sear it on each side (it should take approximately 3-4 minutes per side). Once the brisket is seared, remove it from the slow cooker and set aside on a plate.
- Add the sliced onions and garlic to the pot, sprinkle with salt and cook for 4 minutes until the onions begin to soften.
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar, beef stock, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Stir to ensure that its well mixed and then return the brisket to the pot.
- Spoon some of the sauce over the brisket. Turn the slow cooker to low heat and leave to cook for 9-10 hours or high heat for 4 hours.
- Once the brisket is done cooking and very tender, transfer it to a plate. Pour all of the sauce from the bottom of the slow cooker into a sauce pan and place it on the stove on high heat.
- Stir in the honey and leave the sauce to simmer for 8-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened
- Once the sauce is done reducing taste and add more honey if desired. Cut the brisket across the grain into 1/2 inch thick pieces and spoon the balsamic onion gravy overtop.