Sweet & Smoky Brisket

March 31, 2021
13 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 4 hours
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

My take on braised, fork-tender brisket starts with tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and beef stock for a hearty, tangy base. I’ll also add in ingredients like brown sugar, plenty of onions and garlic, and a hint of smoked paprika, which bring a flavorful punch. The end result is a dish that nods to Texas barbecue brisket, but would also be right at home next to a platter of latkes on the Hanukkah table. One tip if you’re making this brisket for the holidays: Make it the day before, then reheat the sliced meat, onions, and braising liquid in the oven until warm and bubbling; the flavors really blossom after hanging out in the fridge for a night or two, so planning ahead can make all the difference. —Leah Koenig

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, A Jewish-Style Brisket That Tips its Hat to Texas BBQ, sponsored by Muir Glen. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds brisket
  • 1 dash kosher salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, halved through the root and thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Muir Glen tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Muir Glen tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, halved if thick, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F and generously season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and sear, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. (If the brisket does not fit all at once, cut it in half and sear it in two batches.) Remove seared meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, followed by the onions, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until onions soften, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef stock, vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Nestle the seared meat on top of the onions and pour the tomato sauce mixture over top. Bring liquid to a boil on the stovetop, then cover the saucepan and transfer to the oven.
  5. Cook, undisturbed, for 2 hours. Remove from oven, uncover, and carefully flip meat to the other side. Add the carrots, tucking them into the sauce. Cover the Dutch oven and continue cooking until vegetables are soft and meat is fork tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more.
  6. Remove from oven and and transfer meat to a cutting board; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing against the grain. Arrange sliced meat on a serving platter. Remove and discard bay leaves from the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions and carrots and arrange around the brisket. Spoon desired amount of pan juices over the brisket before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Leah Koenig
    Leah Koenig
  • gwen
  • 1milesjohnson
  • Thomas Ingham
    Thomas Ingham
Leah is the author of Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today's Kitchen (Chronicle, 2015)

5 Reviews

gwen April 15, 2022
This is such a delicious recipe! After removing the meat and bay leaves from the juices, we continued simmering and whisking until the juices became a thick sauce, perfect to pour over the meat. Highly recommend!
1milesjohnson September 29, 2021
For Rosh Hashanah, my girlfriend’s family always does a BBQ brisket which apparently is a Cleveland favorite. It’s great, but I decided I wanted to introduce them to other unique styles of brisket and this one was a hit! The rich flavor of the incredibly tender meat combined with the heartiness of the onions, tomato sauce, and carrots seemed to make everyone agree that this was like a prime rib pot roast. Great recipe and I love your Modern Jewish Cooking cookbook, it is my most dog-eared cooking companion in my kitchen! Thanks.
Leah K. September 29, 2021
Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. :)
Thomas I. December 3, 2018
When I was a kid our "Pizza Night", the dinner we most looked forward to, was sloppy joe's with green beans and garlic bread (sometimes homemade potato fries.) Obviously this dish isn't sloppy joe but I kind of wish it had been this instead. It is fantastic and rich and sweet and savory all at the same time. I served this last night with canned green-beans just like mom did with the sloppy joes and there's hardly any left (2 adults, 3 kids.) I wish I could go back to the 30 seconds before I took the first bite so I could live that moment again. This is definitely going on the Sunday family-dinner staples list.
Leah K. December 13, 2018
So glad you enjoyed it!!