Chinese five-spice powder adds a subtle hint of exotic flavor, while tangerines impart both sweetness and tang to balance the richness of the meat.
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- One 3-pound flat-cut beef brisket
- 6 to 8 shallots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (you should have 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 small seedless tangerines or mandarins, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices (peel on) (see notes)
- One 750ml bottle fruity dry red wine
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, combine the five-spice, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the brisket on both sides with the spice mixture and arrange the brisket, fat side up, in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Arrange the shallots and tangerines on and around the brisket and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, combine the wine, flour, and vinegar, whisking to incorporate the flour.
Remove the brisket from the oven, rewhisk the wine mixture, and pour it in the pan around the meat. Cover tightly with foil and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 3 hours.
Remove the brisket from the oven and let it cool in the pan mixture, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Slice the meat across the grain and serve hot, with the some of the pan mixture spooned on top and any remaining pan mixture on the side. (You can prepare the brisket up to 2 days in advance. Cool it thoroughly in the pan mixture, then store it covered in the refrigerator. Before reheating, slice the cold meat. Return the meat to the pan mixture, cover, and reheat in a preheated 350°F for 45 minutes.)
NOTES Chinese five-spice powder is a beautiful spice blend that typically includes star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice or Asian food section of most major supermarkets.
When tangerines aren’t in season, substitute 1 cup of dried fruit—cherries, cranberries, prunes, plums, apricots, or a combination.