Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel's italian beef in a bowl with parmesan polenta

Braised Italian Beef Brisket from Chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel

This Braised Italian Beef Brisket from chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel marries the rich, deep flavors of red wine and the sweet, nuanced complexity of prunes. Each bite is infused with the aromatic blend of herbs, spices, and the luxurious, silky sauce.

close up shot of Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel's italian beef on a white plate

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Italian beef recipe

The addition of California Prunes into this recipe introduces a subtle sweetness that complements the savory notes of the beef and vegetables. The ground fennel seeds and black pepper add a layer of spice that is both invigorating and warming. The red wine is a key ingredient. It not only tenderizes the meat but also deglazes the pan, capturing the essence of the dish in a rich, complex sauce. A touch of red wine vinegar is added to cut the richness. The vinegar also adds a hint of acidity that brightens the overall flavors.

ingredients for Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel's italian beef
  • Beef brisket
  • Onions, carrots, celery
  • Prunes
  • Fennel
  • Red wine
  • Homemade beef stock
  • Vinegar
  • Rosemary & parsley
  • Salt & pepper

This Braised Italian Beef Brisket is a warm, inviting dish perfect for gatherings. It is garnished with fresh rosemary for an aromatic lift and chopped parsley for freshness. We call that comfort and sophistication on the plate.

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Did you make this Braised Italian Beef Brisket recipe? Be sure to post a picture on Instagram and tag us using the hashtag #CAPrunes!

close up shot of Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel's italian beef on a white plate

Braised Italian Beef Brisket with Red wine and Prunes

Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel
This Braised Italian Beef Brisket from chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel marries the rich, deep flavors of red wine and the sweet, nuanced complexity of prunes. Serve with Parmesan polenta so it can soak up all the flavorful juices.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 654 kcal


  • Large Dutch Oven


  • 2 lbs beef brisket, cut into 4 inch portions ideally the flap
  • 2 cups yellow onion 1/2 in dice
  • 1 cups celery cut into 1/2 in dice
  • 1 cup carrot peeled and cut into 1/2 in dice
  • 2 cups prunes
  • 2 tsp fennel seed ground
  • ½ tsp black pepper ground
  • ¾ cups red wine
  • 1- quart beef stock Homemade, if possible
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 TBSP chopped parsley


  • Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • On a large plate, pat brisket with paper towels until dry. Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-high. Add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then, sear the brisket until it’s golden brown on all sides. Set brisket aside.
  • In the same pot, cook sweet onion, celery and carrot in the residual oil for 2-3 minutes, until partially cooked.
  • Add ground fennel and black pepper, and bloom on low heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. De-glaze with red wine. Cook the wine on low heat until it’s almost completely reduced and cooked off, stirring occasionally.
  • Add beef stock and prunes and bring the stock to a simmer. Return the brisket to the pot, spoon the sauce + prunes over the top of it.
  • Add rosemary and cover with two layers of foil and seal the sides neatly so the heat doesn’t escape.
  • Cook the beef for 3-4 hours until tender. (You should be able to tear apart with two forks or insert a cake tester without much resistance).
  • Rest the brisket in the hot prune sauce for 15 minutes, then remove the brisket and reserve on a large plate, covered with foil.
  • Reduce the prune sauce until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Add the red wine vinegar, and season to taste.
  • To serve, plate parmesan polenta, add sliced brisket, and top with the prune sauce draped on top. Garnish with chopped parsley. Bon appetit!



Serving: 1portionCalories: 654kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 55gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 701mgPotassium: 2160mgFiber: 9gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 6313IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 7mg
Keyword braised beef, braised brisket, brisket, california prunes, Italian beef, red wine, Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel
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Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel

Chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel

Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel is a visionary chef and restaurateur. Tracy is best known as the co-founder of Birdie’s, an acclaimed American restaurant that has carved a niche for itself in the culinary landscape with its high/low approach to simple, seasonal American food. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Tracy’s culinary prowess and dedication to sourcing high-quality, local ingredients have earned Birdie’s critical acclaim and a loyal following. Tracy’s approach to cuisine is characterized by a commitment to simplicity, seasonality, and the joy of bringing people together over a shared meal.

Photo credit – Sanetra Longno

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