Brisket is a tough cut of meat that is cooked to tender in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Serve this delicious brisket at your next family or holiday dinner.
This is another trifecta recipe: one that’s low-carb, paleo, whole30 compliant. Salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder – the seasonings used in this recipe are simple. Not much is needed.
Brisket, A Tough Cut Of Beef
Brisket is a popular cut of beef for braising or slow cooking for a reason. Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the breast of a cow. It’s a tough cut of meat to cook with but the great thing about the slow cooker or pressure cooker (Instant Pot) is that even the toughest cuts will be cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tender. I purchased my 3.8 pound brisket at Costco with the fat already trimmed. Please note that depending on the size & shape of brisket, you may have to cut it into pieces to get it to fit into the appliance.
To Sear Or Not To Sear
That is the question. For the Instant Pot, it’s an included instruction. For the slow cooker, searing your meat before adding it to the slow cooker is listed as optional. I chose to pan sear my brisket beforehand. I will always leave this as a recommended but optional step. I have made plenty of briskets and roasts in the slow cooker without searing them beforehand and they came out just fine.
Make This Ahead of Time
Slow cooker or Instant Pot brisket can not only be made the day ahead of time and reheated, some might argue that it’s actually better that way. After it cools, I put the entire slow cooker or Instant Pot base right in the refrigerator. The next day, you will be able to easily remove the fat that has hardened. This is also a good time to slice against the grain if you’re going to do so because the meat is easier to cut cold. To reheat, add the brisket back into the slow cooker or Instant Pot and reheat on the warm setting. If you’re using a Crock-Pot brand of slow cooker, did you know that the base is oven safe? Yup, you can pop the entire base in the oven for temperatures up to 400 degrees.
No, you do not have to make gravy from the drippings. But if you do, it’s simple. The gravy is nothing more than beef broth, meat fat/drippings, and a thickening agent. I did not sift my gravy (too lazy) but of course you can if you want to. To thicken the gravy up, you’ll need to use a thickening agent. Traditionally, most people use flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy. My go-to thickening agent is a slurry of arrowroot flour/starch & water. I use arrowroot starch/flour because it’s the trifecta: low-carb, paleo, and whole30 compliant. It also doesn’t leave a chalky taste in the food like other alternative flours. Having said that, you can use your preferred thickening agent, depending on your dietary needs whether it be arrowroot starch/flour, cassava flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, etc.
Serving The Brisket
Brisket is a cut of beef that is traditionally served by slicing against the grain. It can also be shredded too. If I’m eating the brisket the day I cook it, the meat is usually so tender that it falls apart I take it out the slow cooker. When that happens, I just shred it down. When I make the brisket a day ahead & cool it overnight in the frig, I usually slice the brisket against the grain. The meat is cold & firm which makes it’s easy to cut. Same taste regardless of how you serve it.
Other brisket and roast recipes you might enjoy:
- 3–4 pounds brisket, fat trimmed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth or bone broth
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (for pressure cooker)
- Slurry thickener: 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch, 2 tablespoons water (optional)
Optional step – Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season brisket generously salt & pepper to taste. Add brisket to heated pan & cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned.
- If you skip the browning step, season brisket generously with salt & pepper to taste. Add brisket to the slow cooker, fat side up.
- In a small bowl, mix together beef broth, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Pour mixture on top of brisket.
- Cook HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 8-10.
- Remove brisket from the slow cooker to let rest. Either cut against the grain or shred the meat.
- If you are making gravy: mix together arrowroot starch & water and pour into the slow cooker. Stir to mix well and heat an additional 5-10 minutes on HIGH or until gravy has thickened to your liking.
- Add brisket back into the slow cooker until ready to serve.
- Season brisket generously with salt & pepper to taste.
- Turn the on the pressure cooker to saute. Once hot, add oil and the brisket and sear a few minutes on both sides until browned. Remove brisket and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together broth, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Pour mixture into the pressure cooker and deglaze by scraping off any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add brisket back into the Instant Pot, fat side up.
- Select manual setting. Adjust to high pressure & and set time for 25 minutes per pound of meat. Naturally for about 10 minutes, then quick release for remaining pressure.
- Remove brisket from the Instant Pot. Either cut against the grain or shred the meat.
- If you are making gravy: Turn the pressure cooker to saute and pour the slurry into the pressure cooker. Cook the approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
- Return the brisket to the Instant Pot until ready to serve.
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