4-pound brisket, flat half, trimmed of fat
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
3 bottles (12 ounces) porter beer
2 cups strong black coffee
Season the brisket with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven over high, heat the oil. Add the brisket and sear until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions and celery to the pot, then set the brisket over them. Add the chili sauce, beer and coffee. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 2 hours.
Uncover and cook until the brisket is fork tender, another 1 to 2 hours. If the liquid reduces too much, replace the cover.
When ready, transfer the brisket to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
Skim any fat off the surface of the braising liquid. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables and braising liquid in the Dutch oven. Alternatively, use a ladle to transfer the vegetables and braising liquid, in batches if necessary, to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.
Return the brisket to the Dutch oven with the sauce and heat on the stovetop until the meat is heated through, about 10 minutes. Slice the brisket into thin slices across the grain and serve topped with the sauce.
Jim Romanoff for the Associated Press