Hugh: "Brisket's open-grained texture and depth of flavour make it perfect for slow-cooking. Don't let the butcher trim off too much fat - a certain amount is needed in order to achieve the final, full-bodied result."
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
2. Put the tied brisket in a large roasting tin and tuck the garlic and thyme inside and under it. Massage the oil all over the meat, then season well. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 140°C/gas 1, cover the meat with foil and return it to the oven for 4 hours, basting from time to time.
3. Add the onions and turn them in the meat juices. Turn the oven up to 160°C/gas 3 and cook, uncovered, for a further hour, until the joint has crisped up.
4. Serve the beef in thick slices, with any juices spooned over the meat.
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