A High Holiday favorite, brisket braised in a honeyed sauce with slow-cooked vegetables and pears is a meal the whole family will love.
One 6-pound brisket, fat trimmed or scored (see note above)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper, plus more as needed
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons flour
3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped (6 to 8 cups)
4 medium carrots, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 to 4 cups)
4 cloves whole garlic
1 lb Farm Fresh Nuts Dried Pears cut into 1-inch chunks
7 cups no-salt-added chicken or beef broth
2 3/4 cups dry red wine
2/3 cup mild honey
Fresh thyme sprigs, for serving
Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a work surface near the stove. Adjust the oven racks as needed so you can fit a large, lidded Dutch oven (6-quart, at least) on the middle rack; preheat to 350 F.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Use a fork to whisk together the salt, pepper, dried thyme and flour in a small bowl, then use the mixture to coat the brisket evenly on both sides. Once the oil is shimmering in the pot, add the brisket; sear for 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer the meat to the foil.
Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the onions and carrots with a wooden spoon, working to dislodge any browned bits in the pot. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, then stir in the garlic and pears. Cook for 2 minutes, then scrape the pot’s contents into a large heatproof bowl and cover loosely. Return the Dutch oven to the stovetop. Add the broth, wine and honey, stirring to combine and dislodge any remaining browned bits. Bring to a boil over high heat, then return the brisket to the pot, fat side up. Lay a piece of lightly crumpled parchment paper over the pot, then cover tightly with a lid (that will hold the parchment in place). Roast for 2½ hours.
Uncover and add the reserved vegetable-pear mixture, on top of and around the meat. Cover again and roast for 45 minutes, or until the meat can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife and the vegetable-pear mixture is meltingly soft.
Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet; use wide spatulas to transfer the brisket there. Use a slotted spoon to transfer most of the vegetable-pear mixture to a bowl, making sure to leave the garlic in the pot. Bring the remaining contents of the pot to a boil over high heat; cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until that liquid has reduced by half to form a sauce (you can usually tell by the wine ring around the inside of the pot). The sauce should be just syrupy enough to coat the back of a spoon. Mash the garlic cloves until evenly distributed. Taste, and adjust the salt and/or pepper as needed.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and pour any accumulated juices back into the pot. Cut the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices, arranging/overlapping them in a large casserole or baking dish as you work. Spoon the vegetable-pear mixture over the sliced brisket, then pour the sauce from the pot over the top.
At this point, the brisket can be cooled and refrigerated until well chilled, then wrapped and frozen. If you are serving it soon, roast the sliced/dressed brisket in the oven, uncovered, for another 25 to 30 minutes. Scatter the fresh thyme sprigs over the brisket just before serving.