Beef Brisket And The Prisoner

Beef brisket. The perfect comfort food to warm your soul on a cold and snowy evening.

Beef brisket and red wine? The best combo of all!

Saturday, before the latest Boston blizzard started in earnest, we all headed over to my son and daughter-in-law, Walt and Lily’s home to spend the day and have dinner. Walt and Lily needed all hands on deck because they spent the day redoing Chip and Dale’s bedroom to convert it from a nursery to a big boys’ room.

While Walt and Lily worked away, the rest of the family entertained Chip and Dale and prepared a delicious beef brisket for dinner. (You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post.)

Chip and Dale playing

Chip and Dale using their kitchen set as a parking garage for their trucks.

Annie and I took baby Andy and ran some errands to pick up what was needed to round out the meal.

Of course, this meant a stop at the liquor store for wine.

(Side note: I am not at all a fan of the Massachusetts law forbidding the sale of liquor in grocery stores. What’s that all about?!?!?!)

Anyway, because we had the baby in tow, we needed to be quick with our shopping. So, in picking out the wine, I went with an old favorite, a wine that absolutely never disappoints – The Prisoner.

The Prisoner

This fabulous wine, 2013 The Prisoner (under $40 per bottle), is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Syrah, Grenache and, believe it or not, Chardonnay.

Widely available, you can almost certainly find it at your local wine store or supermarket – unless you live in Massachusetts.

The Prisoner Wine Company purchases grapes from some 80 vineyards throughout Napa Valley. The winemaker, Jen Beloz, chooses the very best of the best grapes from their sources and creates this blend that is different every year but always reliably delicious.

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate awarded the 2013 The Prisoner 92 points saying:

“This dense, full-bodied, opulent red reveals gutsy, rich, peppery, meaty, blackberry, black currant and licorice notes. A savory, lust, heady red, it begs for a grilled steak or a big, juicy hamburger.”

Wow! This is why Robert Parker gets paid the big bucks to analyze wine (lucky dog!). Can’t you just taste the juicy goodness of this wine from his description?

In addition to going well with a steak and a hamburger, the 2013 The Prisoner paired beautifully with our beef brisket. Lily’s recipe calls for beef stock, onion soup and lots of ketchup. The blackberry, dark cherry and peppery notes of the wine played well against this flavor combo.

Maybe I should send Lily’s recipe to Mr. Parker.

Lily’s Beef Brisket: (serves approx. 4)

  • 2 lbs beef brisket
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 12oz. Ketchup
  • 1 can (10 oz) French Onion soup (Campbell)
  • 1/2 can beef broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 large onion (sliced thin)
  • 1/2 celery heart (sliced thin)

Night before the meal:

Marinate overnight in beer. It doesn’t really matter what kind of beer as long as it isn’t a dark beer.

Morning of the meal:

Whisk together the ketchup, soup, broth, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder.

Remove the meat from the beer and rinse lightly. Discard the beer.

Marinate in the ketchup mixture for a few hours, until ready to start cooking.

3 hours before the meal:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Put some of your sliced vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan or baking dish. Place the meat on top and add the rest of your vegetables on and around the meat. Pour all of the marinading liquid on and around the meat.

Cover tightly with foil and roast in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove from the oven and carefully slice the meat against the grain as thinly as possible.

Recover tightly and cook for another 45 minutes.

Remove the cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve with a delicious red wine like The Prisoner.

We ended the evening by celebrating the birthday of my sister-in-law, Kate. Lily baked a decadently delicious chocolate cake.

The Prisoner bottle was empty but that was ok.

Some dishes just beg to be paired with a white.

cake and milk

Got milk?




No one paid me to say this.

Do not drink and drive!

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. So Lily has twins, redecorates a room and bakes a chocolate cake? What a girl. I’m sure she appreciated all the help, and hope she got to take a healthy serving of the wine. (If my in-laws were around, I sure would!)
    Never had The Prisoner before, but will add it to the search list.
    And by the way, Alabama also has the law for no liquor in grocery stores. Wine and beer, yes — but no hard stuff. Keeps the ladies from looking too raucous in the Piggly Wiggly.
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on Southern Valentine by Leslie AnneMy Profile

  2. Ha Ha…the recipe looks fabulous, the wine sounds like one to try and the chocolate cake paired with white…makes an excellent pairing. It sounds like you are having fun despite all the snow.
    Beemie recently posted…All I need is love…My Profile

  3. Oh, this brisket looks awesome – we love brisket!!
    Fun that you had your milk in a wine glass.
    Are Chip & Dale twins?
    Kim recently posted…Not My FavoriteMy Profile

  4. My mom’s brisket recipe uses ketchup too. I’ve only made it once because that’s her job during the Jewish holidays. I’m usually on soup duty.

    No wine or beer in Maryland grocery stores either; I remember seeing it in NC for the first time and being amazed!
    Dana recently posted…Zombie apocalypseMy Profile

  5. Hi Mo,
    I had to double check to make sure my memory was still intact – and it is! I can’t explain the rational, but some grocery stores ARE allowed to sell beer and wine. Some locations (Wellesley and Sudbury being the closest) of Sudbury Farms/Roche Bros. do. Perhaps it’s time for your offspring to move……

  6. Sounds like a perfect day with your family! I have only made brisket once and my recipe was very similar to this. I need to make it again! Enjoy the time with the kids and grandkids and STAY WARM! xoxo

  7. I grew up in a very conservative county that was dry on Sundays, so a lot of times the grocery stores wouldn’t even bother stocking wine or beer because it was too inconvenient for them to lock it up one day a week. Then I moved to Florida, which has very lax liquor laws and was shocked when I could buy a bottle of wine in freakin’ Walmart!
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  8. Oh welcome to my world Mo. Here in BC you can only buy booze at the liquor store. Nothing alcoholic is sold in grocery stores. Nothing. That is about to change but we don’t seem to have a date. So at some point grocery stores will be selling wine and beer. What a refreshing change for my 19 year old son who is able to buy his beer and his wine as he shops for potatoes in Quebec …
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…All Creatures Great And SmallMy Profile

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