Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart pan or Dutch oven. Coat one side of the beef with half the seasoning blend, patting well. Place beef in the hot oil and cook until brown and crisp on first side. Turn beef over and coat the other side with the remaining spice blend, and cook that side.
Remove the meat from the pan. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onions are golden brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bay leaves, brisket and enough chicken stock to cover the brisket. When the stock is boiling, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low to simmer. Cook until very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Skim the excess fat from the stock and strain the liquid. (Or make the brisket a day in advance, refrigerate it and remove the fat after it congeals. Slice the brisket.) Cook the sauce until it reduces to half its volume. Slowly whisk in the margarine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the brisket and reheat. Serves 10-12
This recipe is from Chef Leonard Rubin, of Scottsdale, Ariz.