Red Wine Braised Brisket

In Cast Iron Dutch Oven Recipes

You might think that brisket slow-braised in red wine seems a little excessive for camping, but I assure you, it’s easy to make if you’ve got the time at the campfire.

The only real effort is adding a few lit charcoals every thirty to forty-five minutes. Other than that, it’s only very minimal chopping and tossing it all in the dutch oven.

You don’t need to tell anybody else how easy it is though. Let them think that it required an enormous amount of effort and skill and they’ll be doing all the rest of the work around the campsite while you play with the fire.

Red Wine Braised Brisket

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time:  4 hours
  • Serves:  8 to 10 (with sides)


  • 1 4-5 lb. untrimmed brisket (fat trimmed to about 1/4″ thickness. Don’t buy it completely trimmed off)
  • 1 bottle wine (I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t need to be expensive. A $10 bottle works just fine)
  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic (3 heaping teaspoons if you use pre-minced, like I do)
  • 1 tbs. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 can (8 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 cup baby carrots (the kind already trimmed and cut that you find in the plastic bags in the produce department)

Red Wine Braised Brisket Ingredients

Extra Equipment Needed at the Campsite:

  • 12″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Deep) (plus any additional accessories you like to use)
  • Charcoal (unless you’re using wood)
  • Small shovel or long bbq tongs (for moving hot coals around)
  • Wooden spoon for stirring (Nylon works too. Just don’t use metal, it’ll scratch the seasoning on your dutch oven).  You may want to bring an extra spoon or ladle to pour the juices over the brisket while cooking if need be.
  • Knife and plastic cutting board
  • Can Opener and corkscrew

Related:  Learn More About the Dutch Oven Equipment We Use

Adapted for camping and a cast iron dutch oven from this recipe by Jessie Damuck at Bon Appetit.

Before You Leave Home

Slice your onion and celery and toss them into a large resealable bag.

Mince garlic and throw into a small resealable bag. Remember, if you’re using the pre-minced kind of garlic, one heaping teaspoon is equal to about 2 cloves of garlic.

Throw thyme and bay leaves into a separate bag.

Making Your Red Wine Braised Brisket

Set up your dutch oven for frying with 18 briquettes underneath.

After your dutch oven heats up, add your vegetable oil and brown brisket on all sides. About ten minutes.

You may need to cut your brisket in half or into thirds depending on its shape and size so that it fits properly into your dutch oven.

Brown Your Brisket

Remove brisket to a small plate or bowl and pour off the oil from the dutch oven.

Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and wine. Stir until the tomato paste is mixed in.

Red Wine Braised Brisket

With your mixing spoon, slightly crush the tomatoes.

Crush the tomatoes

Add onions and stir.

add onions

Place brisket neatly on top and spoon some of the braise over it.

Don’t push it down into the pot. Just let it rest on top of the onions. It’ll slowly sink down as it cooks.

Red Wine Braised Brisket

Cover and simmer gently for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the brisket is very tender.

You’ll only need about six charcoal briquettes underneath from this point forward. The key is to get the braise just to the point that it is slightly bubbling, but no more than that. Also, be certain that your coals don’t burn down. You’ll probably need to replace them about every 45 minutes, depending on how windy it is.

About every thirty to forty-five minutes, take the lid off and baste the brisket with the wine, onions and tomatoes, then replace the lid.

Nestle Carrots Around Brisket

Once you’ve finished your 3 1/2 hour simmer, add your carrots into your dutch oven, around the brisket.

Replace the lid and put about 18 briquettes on top and let cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. I used a stick to prop the lid open slightly, so that some of the steam could better vent off.

After you’re done cooking, you can leave your dutch oven by the fire, keeping things warm for hours, and it’ll only get better as the brisket continues to absorb the juices (just close enough to keep it hot, but not close enough that the braise bubbles).

Brisket is Ready

When you’re ready to eat, remember, cut the brisket across the grain, not along it. This will help make your brisket even more tender.

Sliced Red Wine Braised Brisket

To serve, slice brisket about 1/4 inch thick and spoon plenty of sauce, onions, carrots and tomatoes over the top.

Brisket on Plate

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Red Wine Braised Brisket
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
  • 1 4-5 lb. Brisket - fat trimmed to 1/4" thickness
  • 1 bottle Red Wine - I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 tbs. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 medium Yellow Onions - thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs Celery - cut into 1" pieces
  • 6 cloves Garlic - 3 heaping tsp for pre-minced
  • 1 tbs. Dried Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 28 oz. can Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/2 8 oz. can Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Baby Carrots
Extra Equipment Needed at the Campsite
  • 12" Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Deep)
  • Charcoal
  • Long BBQ Tongs
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Knife and Plastic Cutting Board
  • Can Opener and Corkscrew
Before You Leave Home
  1. Slice onion and celery and put in resealable bag.

  2. Mince garlic and throw into separate resealable bag.

  3. Throw thyme and bay leaves into separate resealable bag.

Cooking at Your Campsite
  1. Set up dutch oven for frying with about 18 briquettes.

  2. Once hot, add vegetable oil and brown brisket on all sides. 

  3. Remove brisket to small plate or bowl and pour oil out of dutch oven.

  4. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and wine.  Stir until the tomato paste is mixed in.

  5. Slightly crush tomatoes with mixing spoon.

  6. Add onions and stir.

  7. Place brisket neatly on top and spoon some of the wine over it.

  8. Cover and gently simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours (probably don't need more than 6 briquettes at a time).

    Every 30-45 mins spoon wine, onions and tomatoes over the brisket.

    Be certain your charcoal does not burn out.

  9. After braising period, nestle carrots around the brisket.

    Add 18 briquettes to lid and prop lid open slightly so that steam can escape.

    Cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

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