1 first cut of beef brisket (5 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 head, halved horizontally
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
4 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
2 fresh or dried bay leaves, plus more fresh for garnish if desired
1 pound parsnips, peeled and halved
20 baby carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled and stems trimmed to 1/2 inch
10 ounces red pearl onions, peeled (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper. Place a roasting pan across 2 burners on medium-high. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in pan. Add brisket; sear until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and minced garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 4 minutes. (Add more oil to pan if needed.) Stir in tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in wine, and cook, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.
3. Add stock and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add the brisket to the pan, and cover with foil. Transfer to oven, and roast until meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Flip meat over. Add head of garlic. Cover, and roast for 30 minutes more.
4. Add remaining vegetables to brisket, cover, and roast until meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer vegetables and garlic to a platter and meat to a cutting board, reserving pan sauce. Tent meat with foil; let rest.
5. Let sauce stand in pan for 15 minutes, then skim fat from top. Place pan across 2 burners over medium-high heat; cook until sauce is reduced by slightly more than half, about 20 minutes. (You should have about 2 cups.) Stir in vinegar.
6. Thinly slice brisket against the grain. Arrange slices on a platter with the vegetables. Season with pepper, and drizzle with some sauce. Serve immediately with remaining sauce.