Braised Beef Brisket is slow-cooked with apple cider, maple syrup, molasses, dried mushrooms, caramelized onions, and garlic, giving the brisket flat cut a complex depth of flavor. Prepare this hearty main dish ahead of time for easy entertaining and holiday dinners.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange oven racks so your Dutch oven will fit with the lid on.
Rinse dried mushroom under cold water and rub off any grit. Place mushroom in a mug and pour boiling water over. Put a plate over the mug to make sure the mushroom is covered in water. Set aside.
Season brisket generously with salt and pepper. Do NOT trim off any fat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown meat on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes, or until fragrant, stirring often.
Add maple syrup, molasses, and vinegar to the onions and stir to combine. Pour in cider
and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Rub off any dirt or grit from the mushroom, remove from hot water, and slice. (If mushroom is not cool enough to handle, rinse under cold water first.) Add mushroom to the pot.
Put the brisket back in the pot. Pour in beef broth. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Then turn off heat and transfer (covered) pot to the oven.
Roast for 1 ½ hours. Remove from oven and transfer brisket to cutting board. Let cool 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, slice into ¼ - ½ inch slices against the grain. Transfer sliced brisket back to the pot.
Roast additional 1 hour. Remove from oven and add carrots, nestling them in around the beef. Roast for additional 1 hour, or until beef is tender. (Total time in the oven is 3 ½ hours.)
Remove brisket from oven. Skim excess fat off the top if desired. (If you are making ahead, refrigerate and then skim the solidified fat off the top before reheating.) Remove bay leaf and mushroom slices, if you can find them. Spoon the braising liquid over the meat before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme.