I came up with this recipe as an alternative to the ubiquitous onion-soup-mix recipe. It is almost as easy, and tastes much better. Don't worry about there not being any liquid added to the pan; the meat and vegetables will give off more than enough moisture as they cook.
2 large onions, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (4- to 5-pound) brisket
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place onions, carrots, raisins, tomatoes, mustard, salt and pepper in a baking pan or casserole just large enough to accommodate meat. (My 4 1/2-pound brisket fit perfectly into a 13-by-9-inch Pyrex pan.)
2. Mix vegetables to combine well, then lay meat in pan, fat side up, and spoon some of the vegetables on top. Cover with heavy-duty foil and bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to300 degrees and continue cooking 3 to 4 hours, or until a metal skewer can be easily plunged into the thickest part of the roast.You want the liquid in the pan to be simmering as slowly as possible--just the occasional bubble.
3. Let brisket cool in the sauce. When cool, remove brisket and pour sauce into a saucepan. Reduce over medium-high heat until slightly thickened. To add body to the sauce, you can puree a portion of the vegetables in the sauce either by using an immersion blender or by transferring some of them to a blender or food processor, processing, and then returning them to the unpureed vegetables still in the saucepan.
4. While sauce reduces, slice brisket and lay it in a smaller baking pan (it will have shrunk substantially). Cool sauce slightly and pour back over brisket. (If making in advance, cover with foil and refrigerate.) To serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake foil-covered brisket until heated through, about 30 minutes (40 if brisket has been refrigerated). Makes 8 servings.