Loosely based on a Lee Bailey recipe. Serves 12.
9 lbs flat-cut beef brisket, in two pieces, most fat removed
1 tsp minced garlic (good quality from a jar is fine)
1 tsp celery seeds
3 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
4 large bay leaves, crumbled
12 oz tomato paste
1 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
2 medium onion thinly sliced
1 bottle beer
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Trim brisket and rub all over with the garlic. Combine celery seeds, pepper, ginger and bay leaves, then rub into all sides of the brisket. Mix the tomato paste, soy, Worcestershire and sugar, and smear this all over the meat. Score the fat side of the brisket and place the onions on top, and place the meat in a heavy nonstick high-sided roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook for 4 hours.
Open the foil to expose the onion-covered top, and cook for another hour. Remove meat to a heated plate and keep warm. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat, and degrease sauce with the bottle of beer until the sauce has reduced to a pleasant consistency. [Note: Though it's truly delicious right out of the oven, the flavor improves if cooked a day ahead; refrigerate in the sauce, and slice cold.] Serve at room temperature, or reheat.