This brisket is tender and moist, with a rich, sweet sauce that derives its flavor from paprika, slow-cooked onions, and the roasted brisket juices. The matriarch of my family, Libbie Miller, makes a version of this recipe every year for Passover, but you can certainly enjoy this brisket on any occasion. —Josh Cohen
Season the brisket aggressively with salt on all sides. Set a large Dutch oven or pot over high heat, and add just enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pot. When the oil begins to lightly smoke, add the brisket and let it cook undisturbed until it browns nicely on one side. Flip it and brown the other side. Remove the brisket to a large plate or rimmed baking sheet. Discard the excess oil from the pot, and set the pot aside for a moment. Do not wash the pot.
Preheat the oven to 300° F. In a mixing bowl, add the paprika, brown sugar, tomato paste, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix to form a paste. Cover the outside of the brisket in this paste. Return the brisket to the pot. Scatter the onions and garlic on top of the brisket. Add the water, bay leaf, and cider vinegar. Set the pot over high heat. When the water begins to boil, place a lid on top of the pot and transfer the pot to the oven.
Cook the brisket with the lid on for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, flip the brisket over in the pot and then continue cooking with the lid on for an additional 90 minutes. When the brisket is finished cooking, it should be soft and very tender.
Remove the brisket from the oven. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the remaining contents of the pot (cooked onions and cooking liquid) to a blender, and blend on high until the mixture becomes a smooth purée. Taste this sauce, and adjust the flavor with salt and/or cider vinegar as necessary. Slice the brisket against the grain, pour the pureed sauce over the brisket, and serve.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.