Slow Cooked and Roasted Brisket with Alto Rouge Barbecue Sauce


This deliciously slow cooked beef brisket, roasted with a mouthwatering Alto Rouge barbecue sauce will keep you satisfied with all the flavours you could ask for. This is such a great meal for big gatherings, like those you’d enjoy over the festive season.

Brisket is generally a cut from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal and is the meat you would use to make a pulled beef sandwich. Mmm, exactly!

This festive meal, created with Alto Rouge 2016 wine, forms part of the #AltoFlavours campaign. Alto winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen and award-winning food writer and stylist Vickie de Beer, have done a great job curating these meals to highlight a characteristic of the wine.

Gallery images above, provided by Alto Wines.

Alto Rouge Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Makes 375ml | Time: 30 minutes

  • 250 ml (1 cup) Alto Rouge wine
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves off garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 springs of thyme, leaves take off the stalk
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary, leaves taken off the stalk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) cumin
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) fennel seeds
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) aniseed
  • 2-3 star anise seed pods
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) smoked paprika
  • 3-5 allspice berries
  • 200 g tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) soya sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onions for 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the onions are cooked.
  2. Blend the spices together in a spice grinder or bash them with a pestle and mortar. Add the spices to the onion mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, soya sauce and Alto Rouge wine. Bring the mixture to a boil lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool.
  4. Pour yourself a glass of Alto Rouge. 🍷 

Slow Cooked and Roasted Brisket Recipe

Serves 8 | Takes 8 hours

  • 1x 4.5-5 kg whole brisket off the bone – do not remove the fat layer
  • 5 onions, peeled and sliced into thick rings
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) smoked paprika
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) whole aniseed
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) salt flakes (e.g. Maldon)
  • 375 ml (1.5 cups) of the Alto Rouge barbecue sauce
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160˚C.
  2. Take a sip of your Alto Rouge. 🍷 
  3. Place the brisket on a clean chopping board and rub the spices and salt all over.
  4. Pack the onion slices and the bay leaves in a big, oven-proof roasting tin and place the brisket fat-side down on top of the bed of onions.
  5. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 6 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Prepare a fire like usual with medium coals, whilst sipping on your Alto Rouge. 🍷 
  7. Baste the brisket all over with the Alto Rouge Barbecue Sauce and grill over the fire for about 10-15 minutes on each side, all the while basting it with the barbecue sauce. Remove from the fire and place on a serving platter, pull the meat apart with two forks or just slice it as thinly as possible.
  8. Sit back and enjoy with other festive side dishes, along with your glass of Alto Rouge. 🍷 
  • You can find brisket at your local butcher. You want a cut that is unseasoned so if the one that’s packed on their freezer shelf is already seasoned, ask them to cut you a big piece and inform them that you intend to cook it in the oven and need it to be whole, otherwise they might slice it up (which you don’t want).
  • Alto Rouge is quite accessible at most liquor stores in South Africa, and reasonably priced at under R100.
  • You should be able to find all of the other ingredients at your local grocer, otherwise Food Lover’s or Woolworths should have them.
  • Cooking time may vary depending on your oven, so make sure to check it every now and then while it’s cooking.
  • The Alto Rouge Barbeque Sauce is gorgeous with the beef brisket, however it would also be a perfectly flavourful vegetarian sauce option enjoyed with pasta or rice.

You can download the recipe HERE.

The end result and the perfect pairing

Why Alto Rouge?

Alto Rouge is a red blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot which has been aged in French oak for 18 months. It’s divine to enjoy on its own or paired with red meat.

Alto Rouge displays notes of berry fruit as well as smoky cigar box and dark chocolate flavours, followed closely by oak spices and a hint of vanilla. So it’s easy to see how the versatile flavours of Alto Rouge complement those found in barbecued/braaied food.

This Alto Rouge barbecue sauce pays homage to the classic combination of sweet, spicy, smoky and tangy flavours found in traditional braai sauces. The smoky and spicy flavours are balanced nicely by the ripeness and sweetness of the Alto Rouge!

Char-grilling the meat over an open flame allows for the sugars of the sauce to caramelise, adding new layers of flavour to the dish.

Alto Wine Estate

Since the 1920s, only a handful of winemakers have crafted Alto’s portfolio of internationally acclaimed red wines, of which there are only five. Alto has a reputation as one of South Africa’s most respected red wine estates and grows just five grape varieties on the estate. It forms part of the Western Cape winelands and is situated in Stellenbosch, along the elevated northern slopes of the Helderberg Mountain; making it ideally suited to the production of red wine.


Alto Winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen

Image above, provided by Alto Wines.


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Unless otherwise stated, words + photography by Peaches
Recipe provided by Alto Rouge

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