Our family used to have Baja-style breaded and fried fish tacos for Christmas dinner—an odd choice, but we had sentimental reasons. This tradition lasted until our kids decided they didn’t like fish tacos very much. I’m grateful for this, because although my husband and I adore a good fish taco, the breaded and fried ones are a lot of work and create a huge mess. The last thing I want to do on Christmas is slave all day in the kitchen.
One Christmas, I threw a grass-fed brisket in a slow cooker with a pile of caramelized onions and vegetables. I spent the rest of the day with my husband and kids, enjoying our time together and the gifts we had just opened. And no one complained during dinner. I declared that we had found a new tradition.
Prep time 15 minutes
8 large carrots, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
5 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (87 g) Homemade Ghee or avocado oil (88 ml)
1 3- to 4-pound (1.4 to 1.8 kg) beef brisket
3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut aminos
1 Place the carrots, potatoes, and garlic into a 6-quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker.
2 Sprinkle the salt and pepper over both sides of the brisket.
3 Bring 3 tablespoons (45 g) of ghee to medium-high heat in a skillet large enough for the brisket.
4 Sear the brisket on both sides until a dark golden brown crust forms. Transfer to the slow cooker and place it on top of the vegetables.
5 Add another 3 tablespoons (45 g) of ghee to the skillet and add the sliced onion. Cook on medium high for a few minutes, until the onions soften and begin to turn brown in spots. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the onions are a medium brown color and very, very soft and caramelized.
6 Pour onions and pan juices over the brisket. Place the fresh herbs on the onions. Pour the balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos over the onions and beef as well.
7 Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or until the brisket pulls apart easily with a fork and the carrots are tender. Turn the slow cooker off.
8 Transfer the brisket to a large plate or a cutting board. Leave the vegetables in the slow cooker to keep warm.
9 Cut or shred the brisket and transfer the meat and onions to a large serving platter. If there’s room, add the vegetables from the slow cooker. Spoon some of the cooking juices over everything and serve.