Make the most of fresh, seasonal berries with this recipe for Blueberry Balsamic Braised Brisket. Combining the sweet taste of fresh blueberries with the richness of this simmering sauce makes for a perfect pairing, ideal for any outdoor summer get together!
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.
In a medium-sized pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water and set aside. Add the pearl onions to the pot and turn off heat. Let stand for about two minutes, drain and add to ice water. Once cool enough to touch, use a paring knife to cut a sliver near the root of onions. With your hands, gently slide skin off. Set peeled onions aside.
Trim fat from the brisket and season both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Use olive oil to coat the bottom of a large, oven-proof pot with a fitted lid. Place over medium-high heat.
Once very hot, add brisket and sear until nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Remove brisket from pot and place on a large plate. Set aside.
Turn heat under the pot to medium and add peeled onions and garlic. Stir periodically until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and continue to cook for another 30 seconds until very aromatic.
To deglaze, add stock, thawed blueberries and red wine. Use a wooden, flat-edged spatula to scrape off any brisket, onion and garlic that may be stuck to the pot.
Return the brisket to the pot and bring to a boil.
Cover and place in oven for 1½ hours, gently braising any portion of the brisket that’s not submerged in liquid.
Remove from oven, add balsamic vinegar and gently mix until evenly distributed.
Cover pot and return it to the oven. Continue to braise until brisket is tender, about 1 more hour. Test it with a fork—you should be able to pull it apart while it’s still firm enough to slice.
Place brisket on a large plate to cool.
Place the pot over low heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by half and has thickened into a rich sauce, about 30 minutes. Remove any grease that rises to the top.
Add butter and brown sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the sauce is simmering, slice the brisket against the grain into ¼- to ½-inch slices.
Just before serving, fold fresh blueberries into sauce.
To serve, either add the brisket slices to the sauce or arrange slices on a serving platter and drizzle sauce over. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
Valentina K. Wein is a whole foods recipe developer, food writer and photographer. She writes the popular food blog Cooking on the Weekends.