Holiday Brisket

I recently made this to share at a retreat for which I was the leader. We talked about food, faith, and memories. They loved this and it’s a favorite in our house. I developed this recipe based on one from the Ashkenazi Jewish community I found online. I first made it when I was hosting students from different religious traditions in my home for their religious holidays. This one we served for our dinner celebrating the High Holy Days in the fall. If possible, make this several days ahead so it can sit in the fridge to let the flavors meld. It is great the day you make it but gets even better with a few days rest.

Brisket, flat end, 5-7lbs/2.25-3kg,
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Red wine, 1cup/240ml
2 lg onions, 1.3lb/625g, roughly chopped
7-8 lg garlic cloves, .75oz/20g, crushed or finely minced
Tomato paste, 3oz/90ml
Beef Stock, 2cups/480ml
Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4cup/60ml
Light Brown Sugar, 1/2cup/85g
Canned Crushed Tomatoes, 28oz/800g
2-3 Bay Leaves
Golden Raisins, 1/3cup/50g
Carrots, 1.5lb/680g, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
Celery, 11oz/315g, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 2-3 inch pieces

Heat 2-3Tbsp oil in a heavy pan on high. I like to use my large cast iron skillet. Salt both sides of the brisket with 2-3 tsps/10-15g of Kosher salt. Sear each side of the brisket on high heat for 3-5 minutes until well browned. Remove browned brisket from the pan and set aside.

Turn temperature down to medium low heat. Often I let my pan get very hot for this and will set it aside completely off the heat to cool before returning to the heat. The heaviness of your pan will determine how fast it cools down. Add red wine to the pan to deglaze, getting those wonderful browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and reserve the liquid left in the pan for later.

Add 2-3 Tbps olive oil to the pan and place on medium low heat. Add the onions and 1/2tsp/2g Kosher salt. Sweat onions 10-15 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic cloves for one minute then add the tomato paste. Saute together for 2-3 minutes more to sweeten the tomato paste. Add the beef stock and stir for 2-3 minutes to deglaze the pan. Add the reserved pan drippings and red wine as well as the vinegar, brown sugar, and raisins. Simmer for 3-5 minutes to bring the sauce together. Turn off heat and set aside.

Toss carrots and celery in the bottom of a large heavy pot with a lid.*(see note at the bottom) Lay seared brisket on top with fat cap facing up. Pour crushed tomatoes on top of the brisket and add bay leaves. Pour reserved sauce from the sauce pan all over the brisket. Cover pot with lid and place in oven. Turn on oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit/150 degrees Celsius. Cook brisket for 5-8 hours until brisket pulls apart easily with a fork.

Cool brisket on counter until it is safe to place the pot in the refrigerator. Leave brisket to rest in the fridge for 15-30 hours. It is best one to three days after you cooked it.

Before serving remove most of the fat cap and slice the brisket in ¼-½ inch slices. Place in a 250-300 degree Fahrenheit/120-150 degree Celsius for 1.5-2 hours until warmed through.


I love my counter top turkey roaster for this. I’ve had the same one for years. Mine happens to be the Oster brand. I like that I can leave it on the counter all day or night and not worry about it. It also means I don’t run the oven for all of these hours. When I cook it in the counter top oven, I turn the temperature down to 225 so it cooks slowly. If you want to cook the brisket in your oven, use a nice heavy Dutch oven with a lid. I have an enameled one I bought on Amazon that I love.

You can serve the brisket with the vegetables that cooked with it in the pot and the sauce as it is. You can also strain the sauce and set the vegetables aside. Sometimes I’ll set aside the fat that collects at the top of the sauce when it sits in the fridge. I’ll use a little of it with some flour to make a roux then add the warmed juices to make a thicker sauce. It is entirely up to your personal preference.

One Comment Add yours

  1. hemmerjr says:

    It even looks lucious!


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