In a large heavy frypan heat oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot brown the beef on all sides. If the brisket is too large cut it in half first and brown in two stages. Place the meat in a large Dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid.
Add onions to the oil in the frypan. Saute over medium heat until the onions are beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Pour over the brisket in the Dutch oven.
Empty the packet of un-made instant onion soup mix over the browned onions and meat. Arrange all of the apricots on top of the soup mix.
Pour enough water around outside of meat but not on top to cover the sides of brisket. Cover.
Bake at 160 degrees C for 1 hour. Check liquid; if Dutch oven is starting to look dry add a bit more water around meat. Cover and cook another hour.
Remove lid and stir apricots into gravy. Leave uncovered and cook for another hour.
Stir gravy again and add more water if the gravy is too thick. Meat should be very tender; if necessary, bake for an additional 1/2 hour. Cut across grain to serve.