Beef Brisket with Prunes and Apricots

Humble beef brisket, braised or slow-cooked until tender, is worthy of Sunday dinner and holiday celebrations.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 3-4 hours


  • 1 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 pound fresh beef brisket
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can (14 oz.) reduced sodium or regular beef broth
  • 3-4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid Dried Halves or Mediterranean Apricots
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid Pitted Prunes
  • Preparation

    HEAT oven to 350° F. Trim excess fat from brisket if needed, leaving about 1/8-inch thickness on one side of meat.
    SEASON brisket on both sides with salt and pepper. Place fat side down in a wide oven-proof skillet. Or if skillet is not oven-proof, transfer meat to a metal roasting pan after browning.
    BROWN meat over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
    ADD onion, garlic and ginger to pan, stir until softened, 3-5 minutes.
    POUR wine into pan; stir and simmer until nearly evaporated. Add beef broth and 1/2 cup water; return meat to pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover pan with lid or foil and place in oven.
    BAKE 3-4 hours (1 hour per pound) or until fork tender. Check about once per hour and add water as needed to keep 1/2 to 1-inch depth of liquid.
    REMOVE brisket and place on a serving platter. Place pan over medium heat, or transfer liquid from roasting pan to a saucepan. Stir in cornstarch and additional water to make desired amount of sauce. Stir in prunes and apricots. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes until thickened and fruit is softened, adjusting with water and cornstarch as desired. Season with salt and pepper.
    SLICE brisket across the grain. Serve with sauce and fruit.

    Slow-Cooker Method

    Follow steps above through adding wine and beef broth to pan. Omit water. Place brisket in a 3.5 to 6-quart slow-cooker, cutting brisket in half to fit if needed. Pour pan liquid over meat. Meat should be mostly submerged in liquid. A little water can be added if needed. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Remove meat from cooker and keep warm. If slow cooker was on low, turn to high. Stir in 3-4 teaspoons cornstarch. Add prunes and apricots; cook until sauce thickens slightly and fruit is soft, about 5 minutes.

    Makes 6 servings