Score the brisket (use a sharp knife to cut lines in a crisscross fashion). Season with one tablespoon salt and half a tablespoon black pepper on both sides.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan. Once sizzling, add brisket and sear five minutes on each side. Make sure to turn onto sides if it’s a very thick cut. Once seared, transfer to a roasting pan.
In the same frying pan, heat another two tablespoons of olive oil. Add sliced red onions and fry for a few minutes. Add garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, and honey and fry for another few minutes. Add another tablespoon of salt and half a tablespoon of black pepper.
Pour spiced onion mixture around sides of brisket in the roasting pan. Pour apple cider in the roasting pan. It should cover two thirds of the brisket. Add bay leaves. Double wrap with foil, making sure it’s very tight as you don’t want steam to escape. Roast for four-and-a-half hours in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit), adding the caramelised parsnips and apples halfway through (see next step).
Once brisket is in the oven, peel the parsnips, trim the tops and bottoms, and cut into 1/4-inch rounds. Peel apples, core them, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Then, in the same frying pan used for the brisket and onions, add another two tablespoons of olive oil. Once sizzling, add the sliced apples and parsnips. Fry for 10 minutes till golden. Set aside and add to the roasting pan halfway through baking time.
Remove brisket from the pan. Let rest for 15 minutes, then cut and trim all visible fat and slice against the grain. Remove bay leaves.
Add some gravy to deep serving dish. Place slices of brisket on top. Add parsnip slices and gravy around the dish (the apples will have melted into the gravy).