This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Onion Gravy recipe is so quick and easy to prepare and results in delicious, melt-in-the mouth beef perfect for a Sunday Roast! The onion gravy is super simple to make as you just add cornflour to the cooking juices/onion and heat through at the end!
Table of contents
- What is Beef Brisket?
- Advantages of Slow Cooking Brisket versus Roasting a Beef Joint
- Steps to prepare Brisket for Cooking
- How to Slow Cook Beef Brisket and Onion Gravy (full recipe at end of post)
- How to serve the Brisket with Onion Gravy
- What can you do with leftover Brisket?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Beef Slow Cooker Recipes
What is Beef Brisket?
Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest or breast of beef.
Due to the amount of connective tissue in it, slow cooking is the perfect way to break this down.
Collagen makes up a large proportion of the connective tissue and this gelatinises with slow cooking rendering the otherwise tough meat, tender.
Advantages of Slow Cooking Brisket versus Roasting a Beef Joint
- Beef brisket is about 25% cheaper than a beef roasting joint.
- Slow cooking is a more economical way to cook than roasting in an oven.
- The meat juices, onions and garlic are very quickly made into gravy with the addition of cornflour with no danger of lumps (which can happen with a roux based gravy).
The beauty of this brisket recipe is that it uses just a few common ingredients that most of us have to hand.
- Beef brisket joint: look for one with a layer of fat which will add flavour to the onion gravy.
- Beef stock cube: adds colour and flavour to the brisket and meat juices used for the gravy.
- Onions: you can use brown or red onions which give the gravy a super, rich flavour and texture.
- Garlic: a further flavour booster for the gravy.
- Rosemary sprigs or dried rosemary: adds a further flavour dimension to the gravy.
- Cornflour: thickens the onion gravy.
- Salt and pepper: I like to use salt flakes and freshly ground pepper for seasoning.
Steps to prepare Brisket for Cooking
- A small joint of brisket should be taken out or the fridge and unwrapped half an hour before cooking to allow to come to room temperature. Large joints need one hour.
- Butcher’s string or elastic should be left on the brisket joint so that it holds together whilst cooking. It can then be removed once cooked.
- You shouldn’t need to remove any fat from the brisket as it helps to add flavour and moisture; I’ve yet to see a piece of overly fatty brisket.
How to Slow Cook Beef Brisket and Onion Gravy (full recipe at end of post)
This recipe is so easy it almost makes itself and requires only 5 minutes prep! The meat cooks in its own juices along with the sliced onions and garlic cloves.
- Start by placing sliced onions, garlic and rosemary in slow cooker.
- Lay brisket on top, season with salt and pepper and crumble over a beef stock cube.
- Cook for 4 – 5 hours on high or 7 – 8 hours on low.
- Once ready remove brisket from slow cooker.
- Allow the meat to rest under foil for 10 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile make the onion gravy by mixing cornflour and water together.
- Pour cooked onion, garlic and meat juices into a pan and stir in the cornflour paste.
- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until gravy thickens (you may need additional boiling water).
- Carve the brisket.
- Serve with the onion gravy and your choice of vegetables.
How to test Slow Cooker Beef Brisket for Doneness
Testing the slow cooker beef brisket for doneness is an important step to ensure that the meat is fully cooked and tender. Here are a few ways to test the doneness of the beef brisket:
- Check the internal temperature: Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the brisket by inserting into the thickest part. The brisket should reach an internal temperature of 190-205°F (87-96°C) for optimal tenderness.
- Check for tenderness: Use a fork to test the tenderness of the brisket. If the fork slides easily into the meat and it pulls apart easily, then it is fully cooked. If the meat is still tough, continue cooking for another hour or until it reaches the desired tenderness.
- Look for colour: A fully cooked brisket should have a deep, rich colour. The meat should look browned and roasted on the outside.
It’s important to note that cooking times may vary depending on the size of the brisket and the temperature of the slow cooker. Be patient and allow the brisket to cook until it reaches the desired tenderness.
How to serve the Brisket with Onion Gravy
If you’re entertaining then you can lay the sliced brisket out on a platter and spoon the onion gravy on in a line down the centre.
For serving to family either put the gravy in a serving bowl with small ladle (a gravy boat won’t really work) or serve from the pan if you’re plating up the whole meal.
Suggested Side Dishes
I like to treat this slow cooked brisket as I would a roast beef dinner so serve it with roast potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire Puddings and horseradish sauce.
Here are some great side dish recipes you should try:
- Crispy Coated Roast Potatoes
- Tiny Truffled Hasselback Potatoes
- Fondant Potatoes Butter Poached Spuds
- Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables
- Easy Yorkshire Puddings
- Creamy Cauliflower Cheese
- Honey Butter Glazed Carrots with Garlic
- Creamy Buttered Swede
- Peas and Pancetta
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Green Beans
- Best Butter Braised Savoy Cabbage
What can you do with leftover Brisket?
It’s worth cooking a bigger joint of beef brisket than you need as the leftovers can be:
- Reheated along with the onion gravy in the microwave (covered).
- Made into sandwiches.
- Turned into other dishes such as Monday Pie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can pull the beef brisket apart with 2 forks if you prefer to serve it pulled.
I tried it once and the beef was very tough so I’d say no. There is no collagen to break down and therefore the meat does not get pull apart tender. Beef roasting joints are best roasted in my opinion.
As the width of brisket joints are roughly the same you shouldn’t need more cooking. Slow cook for the maximum times stated in the recipe ie on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours and then test for doneness
There has been a myth that searing meat seals in the juices which has been proven to be false, juices continue to be released from meat either way. Searing the brisket would have no effect here as the meat sears itself during the slow cooking as you can see. But it’s personal choice at the end of the day.
More Beef Slow Cooker Recipes
Here are some more tasty beef recipes to try in your slow cooker:
- Easy Slow Cooker Beef Curry
- Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooked Beef & Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooked Beef & Vegetable Casserole
- Beef in Beer
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Onion Gravy is so economical, quick, easy and delicious, you won’t want to roast beef again! This is now my go to way to have a roast beef dinner.
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Do leave a comment and rating below when you’ve made this recipe as I love getting your feedback! You can also share your pictures by tagging @FabFood4All over on Instagram.
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Onion Gravy
- 6.5 L Slow cooker
- Chopping Board
- cook’s knife
- Carving knife
- Measuring spoon
- Wooden spoon
- 0.8 – 1 Kilo beef brisket
- 3 – 4 small/medium brown or red onions sliced
- 6 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 beef stock cube
- Salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- Meat juices and the cooked sliced onions/garlic
- Remove brisket from fridge, discard packing and allow to come to room temperature for 30 mins.
- Place the sliced onions and sprigs of rosemary in the base of a slow cooker (Crockpot).
- Place brisket on top or onions, season with a little salt, a generous grinding of pepper and crumble over beef stock cube.
- Set the slow cooker to high for 4 – 5 hours or low for 7 – 8 hours.
- Once the beef brisket is cooked and tender (see advice above for checking doneness above), remove from slow cooker, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the onion gravy. Remove the rosemary sprigs (if using) and pour the meat juices, onions and garlic into a pan.
- Mix 2 teaspoons or cornflour with 2 teaspoons of cold water to form a thin paste and stir into the pan.
- Slowly bring gravy to the boil whilst stirring with a wooden spoon and then simmer until the thickens (you may need to add a some boiling water to get the desired consistency/quantity).
- Once the meat has rested, carve across the grain and serve with the onion gravy and your choice of vegetables.