You love to drink cola and bourbon—why not cook with them? The tender brisket and rich gravy combination made for a “table favorite” in our kitchen. A tip from the test kitchen: This recipe tastes even better when made one to two days ahead. After step three, cool uncovered, then cover and refrigerate. Discard any fat that collects on the surface before reheating on the stove and proceeding with the recipe.
1 (4 1⁄2- to 5-lb.) first cut (flat) beef brisket, at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (14-oz.) bottle balsamic vinegar ketchup (such as Heinz)
1 (12-oz.) bottle cane-sweetened cola (such as Coca-Cola)
1 1/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1 (1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup and dip mix
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
6 medium carrots, halved and cut into 4-inch lengths
4 medium parsnips, halved and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle both sides of brisket with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add brisket, and cook until deeply browned, 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Transfer brisket to a plate.
Stir together balsamic vinegar ketchup, cola, chicken broth, onion soup mix, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Pour slowly into Dutch oven, and stir and scrape to loosen browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Return brisket and any juices to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high, and cover with foil followed by a tight-fitting lid. Transfer Dutch oven to preheated oven.
Bake 2 hours. Turn brisket over. Tuck in carrots and parsnips, and sprinkle onion into liquid around edge of brisket. Replace foil and lid, and continue baking until brisket is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer brisket, carrots, and parsnips to a serving platter. Cover with foil to keep warm. Puree cooking liquid in Dutch oven with an immersion blender to make gravy. Simmer gravy over medium until heated through. Stir in bourbon, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Slice brisket. Spoon some of the hot gravy over brisket and vegetables, and sprinkle with thyme. Serve remaining gravy in serving dish on table.