Recipe: Slow-Cooked Brisket with Fennel and Onions

A no-fuss meal for the whole family

Make this zero-fuss meal from Functional Medicine Director Mark Hyman, MD, by preparing it Sunday night. Before leaving for the day on Monday morning, simply turn on your slow cooker and let the aroma of herbs, spices and savory meat permeate your home.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Walk in, enjoy the comforts of a truly slow-cooked meal, and marvel at the simplicity of living well. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook the stew for about one hour in a covered Dutch oven set over medium heat.)


2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced
2 yellow onions, halved and sliced
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
8 to 10 thyme sprigs
1 (3-pound) grass-fed lean brisket, cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Pour the vinegar and ½ cup of water into a 6-quart slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, onions, diced tomatoes with their juices, garlic and thyme. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Season the brisket all over with the chili powder, salt and pepper. Place the pieces of meat on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Pour the remaining vegetables on top.
  2. Cook on low until the meat easily pulls apart with a fork, 8 to 10 hours. Turn off the slow cooker and let the brisket rest, covered, for about 30 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Using a ladle, transfer 3 cups of the cooking liquid to a medium sauté pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and let the liquid reduce until it thickens into a gravy — keeping a careful eye on it so it doesn’t over-reduce or burn — 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Slice the brisket against the grain. Pour the gravy over the brisket slices, garnish with the parsley, and serve with the vegetables on the side.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings.

Advertising Policy

Calories 300
Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Fiber 7 g
Protein 27 g
Carbohydrates 25 g
Sodium 486 mg

— Recipe courtesy of Mark Hyman, MD 

Advertising Policy