Brisket with Saba, Apricots, and Figs

December 12, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

My dad always served this brisket front and center at Hanukkah. It's a crowd pleaser and feeds many. The juices are also a great dipping sauce for latkes. Saba can be hard to find, so while it lends the meat a characteristic sweetness, balsamic vinegar is a welcome substitute. —Valerio Farris

  • 1 brisket (5-6 pounds)
  • 6 shallots, quartered
  • 2 large onions, 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 large carrots, 1 inch pieces
  • 5 celery stalks, 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 bunch herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • peel of 1 orange, julienned
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 9 oz. jar of saba
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 12 dried figs
  • 2 ounces whole almonds
In This Recipe
  1. Place the brisket in a large baking dish. Add vegetables, herbs, orange peel and cinnamon. Coat evenly with the saba. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large roasting pan. Add vegetables from the marinade; cook for 5 minutes. Place the brisket in the roasting pan and sear over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the marinade (including cinnamon, orange peel and herbs). Deglaze with red wine.
  3. Add half of the chicken stock and salt & pepper. Place in the oven at 300° for 3 hours. Check after every hour and add more stock if needed until the brisket is fork tender. Add dried fruit and almonds, cover with aluminum foil and cook for 1 hour longer.

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  • Natasha
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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.

3 Reviews

Natasha April 2, 2018
What is saba? What are its ingredients? Thanks!
Tasha December 20, 2017
I just happened to re-read the recipe and see that it's been re-ordered to describe searing the meat before adding the marinade to the pan. Thanks for the update!
Tasha December 13, 2017
Thanks for this intriguing recipe. I'd like to try it out, but have a question about the searing step. My understanding of searing is that it's usually done in an only slightly moist environment (typically with oil). In this case, you're adding two cups of red wine first, and the veggies appear to stay put in the pot as well. Is the wine supposed to reduce to the point where the meat and veggies actually sear? Or, is everything braising in the wine? Sorry for my confusion. I have just enough cooking experience to be dangerous. Any clarification appreciated!