No Jewish holiday is complete without a tender, braised brisket at the center of the table. From Rosh Hashanah to Passover to Hanukkah to any ol’ Shabbat, brisket is always a star main dish.
What sets a classic Jewish-style brisket apart from other preparations? It’s typically sweeter and incorporates some sort of tomato product.
What Makes This Brisket Special?
Like any traditional recipe, it’s going to vary from family to family, grandmother to grandmother, and so on. What most Jewish-style briskets share in common is a sweet component in the braising liquid.
In this Jewish brisket, I rely on ketchup and brown sugar to add a touch of sweetness, but other recipes might call for white sugar, chili sauce, or even Coca-Cola. To contrast the sweetness, I like to incorporate a generous glug of red wine. It provides ample acidity for the braise—plus, it gives it a rich, dark color. If you don’t have any on hand, you can swap for beef broth.
How to Make Jewish Brisket
If cooking a 5-pound piece of meat feels intimidating, don’t worry. This recipe is no different from any other braise.
All you’re doing is searing a large piece of meat, sweating down some aromatics (onions, garlic, and celery), and adding a few liquids (crushed tomatoes, ketchup, and red wine) along with bay leaves, fresh thyme, and brown sugar.
Once it’s all in the pot, it goes straight into the oven for 3 hours where the magic happens. The low, slow cooking method yields moist, tender, and flavorful meat.
I prefer to add in the carrots towards the very end of the braising time because to me, there’s nothing more off-putting than an overly softened carrot. By only braising the carrots for a quick 30 minutes, they’re able to soften slightly without turning into baby food.
Make It Ahead
This brisket is even better made ahead so that the flavors can really mesh. The fat is also easier to remove once it’s solidified.
If you plan to make this in advance, be sure to let the brisket cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and storing in the fridge. Keep in mind that you’ll need about an hour to warm it back up in the oven when it comes time to serve it.
How to Serve Jewish Brisket
Whether you’re making this for a holiday or a casual weekend supper, serve this brisket with your favorite potato side dish, kugel, or a refreshing slaw.
1 (5-pound) untrimmed flat-cut beef brisket
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
4 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces, leaves coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups red wine (such as Merlot or Pinot Noir)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut on a bias into 2-inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Brown the brisket:
Season the brisket with most of the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Cook the brisket, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Cook the vegetables:
Place the onions, celery, and garlic in the pot, tossing it in the residual fat. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the liquids and aromatics and braise:
Add the wine, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, thyme, and bay leaves, stirring to combine.
Place the brisket in the liquid, fat side up. Cover the pot and braise in the oven until the meat is fork-tender, about 3 hours.
Add the carrots:
Uncover the pot and nestle the carrots around the brisket. Cook, uncovered, until the carrots are tender (not soft) and the top of brisket is browned and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes.
Slice the brisket and make the sauce:
Remove the brisket from the pot and slice against the grain to serve. Place on a deep serving platter.
Meanwhile, use a spoon to skim fat from the surface of the braising liquid and discard. Heat over medium-high heat and cook until the liquid is thickened to a sauce-like consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Pour the sauce over the brisket and serve.
If you are not serving the brisket immediately, transfer it to a large bowl and pour the braising liquid over top. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To serve, preheat the oven to 325°F. Skim fat from the surface and discard. Cover and reheat the brisket in the sauce, about 1 hour.
Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 45g||57%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||80%|
|Total Carbohydrate 23g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||13%|
|Total Sugars 14g|
|Vitamin C 14mg||70%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|