In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown one half of the brisket on both sides, 2 minutes per side; set aside. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with 1/2 cup water, scrape up the brown bits and pour the drippings into a bowl. Repeat with the second half of the brisket, then deglaze with an additional 1/2 cup water. Add the brisket pieces and reserved drippings back to the pot. Add the carrot, celery, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, ketchup, garlic, onion soup mix, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer, checking every 30 minutes or so, until the meat is tender, 2 to 3 hours. The brisket should be fork-tender.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the brisket on a diagonal into desired thickness. Arrange the slices carefully in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, ladling the sauce between layers of slices. Pour additional sauce over top, until the brisket is covered. Roast until bubbly and slightly brown on top, about 1 hour. Serve with kasha varnishkes or rice to pour the sauce over. (Makes great leftovers for sandwiches.)
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
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