1 4-lb brisket–a fatty cut is preferable
Salt and pepper
2 large onions, sliced
Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Heat a heavy, lidded pan at least a little bit bigger than the brisket over high heat for about 3 minutes.
Add enough oil to cover the pan with a film (about 2 tablespoons). Carefully place the brisket in the pan. Let it sear to a golden brown, 4-5 minutes, then flip and let the second side cook.
Push the brisket to one side of the pan and add the onions, tossing to let them all get covered in the oil. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until the onions wilt. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Pour enough water to come halfway up the brisket–it’ll range, depending on the size of your pot. I use about 4 cups. Let the water come to a boil, then turn the heat as low as it goes, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 hours. You’ll want to flip the brisket occasionally.
When done, the brisket should be buttery tender. Taste for salt, add more as needed, and serve with potatoes.
Brisket is even better on the second day than on the first. If you’ve made it ahead of time, let the brisket cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a container, or put the whole pot in the fridge. Once chilled, you should be able to skip some of the fat from the top. To reheat, simply place the pot, covered, over medium-low heat and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.