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A Black Iron Haven

Dutch Oven Brisket

Posted by Kathy Mansfield

Cast Iron Required:

  • 5 quart dutch oven (kitchen, not outdoor)
  • cast iron trivet

  • 2-3 pound flat brisket
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 oz. Sherry

A while back Rick posted information on the Cooking in Cast Iron website about converting cooking times and temperatures from slow cookers to cast iron dutch ovens. He encouraged me to try one of my brisket recipes to test out the conversion chart. Well, my brisket recipe is one of my prized cooking secrets. The recipe was handed down by my mom, and it produces the most tender brisket ever. The brisket cooks slowly (8 hours) in a low temperature oven (225) wrapped in foil. Mmmmm good. I wasn’t sure I was ready to alter those winning steps. So, I figured I would try my second best brisket recipe—this one from one of our slow cooker cookbooks.

I picked up a brisket at the grocery store last week and put it in the freezer, not knowing when I might try the oven version of this slow cooker success story. When Rick had to work late last night, I decided to try my experiment. I grabbed the slow cooker cookbook and quickly found the “Brisket in Ale” recipe I had used before. Unfortunately, I didn’t have some of the main ingredients. So, off to the pantry I went in search of substitutes. I was bound and determined to see if these conversion numbers were really accurate.

I began the process by preheating the oven to 325. Based on the conversion chart, this was the temperature to use if the slow cooker recipe called for 10 hours at a low setting, except in a dutch oven the brisket should be done after just 2 1/2 hours. I must admit I was pretty skeptical. I placed our new dutch oven trivet in the bottom of the 5 quart dutch oven and laid the 2 pound brisket on top, fatty side down. Next I added the hodge podge of ingredients I was able to gather together from around the kitchen: one large shallot, chopped; 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon of thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt sprinkled on top of the brisket; 1 can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 8 oz. of Sherry cooking wine spread on top. I put the lid on and put the brisket in the oven and set the timer for 2 1/2 hours.

I must admit that I had my doubts about the brisket being even close to done after that short amount of time. So, when the timer went off, I didn’t event check under the lid. I left everything in for another 30 minutes just to be sure.

Was the brisket going to be cooked through? Even if it was cooked all the way, would it be tender? Would the miscellaneous ingredients I added to the mix be tasty? I should have never doubted. I raised the lid and smelled the delicious aroma of brisket and gravy. One touch with a fork let me know the meat was just as tender as the slow cooking technique I had used for years. And the taste? Let’s just say that I’ve written down all of those cobbled together ingredients so that I can make this recipe again!

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or you can contact Kathy directly at

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