Although you can serve this brisket right after braising, it improves if made ahead, a boon to the busy cook. If you can’t find brisket, look for a thick chuck roast. It won’t slice as neatly as the brisket but the flavor is just as good. No large pot? Brown the meat in a heavy skillet and transfer to a roasting pan, then tightly cover with foil. Be sure to deglaze the skillet with the water so you don’t miss any of the browned bits that make the sauce so good.
2 tablespoons tablespoons sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1 tablespoon tablespoon kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons regular salt)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 -to 4-pound beef brisket, patted dry
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 cups water
1 pound parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored if woody; cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F with 1 rack in middle and 1 rack in lower third.
Mix together paprika, salt, cinnamon and pepper and rub all over brisket. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide ovenproof 6- to 8-quart heavy ovenproof pot over medium heat until shimmering, then brown meat on both sides, about 10 minutes. Add onions, garlic and water, then bring to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, about 3 hours.
After meat has cooked 1 3/4 hours, toss carrots and parsnips with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on lower rack, turning vegetables several times until tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
Transfer meat to cutting board and thinly slice across the grain. Skim fat from sauce. Put meat and vegetables on a platter and drizzle with some sauce, Pass remaining sauce separately.
Cooks’ notes: Brisket always tastes better if made up to 2 days ahead. Cool meat uncovered in sauce, then slice meat and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch baking dish and top with sauce. Chill, covered. Reheat in a 350°F oven, about 45 minutes.
Vegetables can be cut 1 day ahead and kept chilled in a sealable plastic bag with a damp paper towel. They taste best when freshly roasted.