This Jewish beef brisket recipe produces a fork-tender piece of meat surrounded by braised vegetables. In the old days, women cleaned their houses all day Friday in preparation for the Sabbath, which is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. They needed to cook something that didn't require a lot of watching and would reheat well the next day when no work, not even cooking, was allowed.
Enter beef brisket—a cut of meat suitable for a long, slow cook. It's a tough cut unless it is slowly braised. For this recipe, choose the brisket that has some fat on top, which is also the type used for barbecued brisket, rather than the leaner type used to make corned beef. As brisket is a large cut of meat, you will be able to enjoy the sliced brisket for dinner and have leftovers for future meals.
- 1 (5-pound) beef brisket (with some fat on top)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Paprika, to taste
- Garlic, to taste (fresh, powdered)
- 1 package onion soup mix (dry)
- 1 package brown gravy mix (dry)
- 1 (46-ounce) can vegetable juice
- 2 large onions (sliced)
- 6 medium potatoes (whole, peeled)
- 6 large carrots (cut into chunks)
- 6 ribs celery (cut into chunks)
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 325 F. Lightly coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Season brisket with pepper, paprika and garlic. Place fat side up in the prepared pan.
In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the soup and gravy mixes with vegetable juice and two vegetable juice cans of water, mixing well. Add this to the roasting pan, pouring it over meat. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery to the roasting pan, cover and roast 1 hour longer or until meat is fork tender.
Let the meat cool completely. Slice it against the grain and reheat it in the pan juices.
Serve the sliced brisket with the cooked vegetables.
Storage and Slicing
Cooking the meat days ahead allows it to sit in its juices for better flavor. You can store the cooked brisket with juices or gravy for two days in the refrigerator, or without the liquid or gravy for up to four days.
For ease of slicing, freeze the brisket in an airtight container (if including the juices) or well-wrapped. It will keep frozen for up to two months without juices or three months with the juices. When ready to serve, defrost it a bit and slice. Reheat it in reserved pan juices.
Entertaining With Brisket
Don't count out beef brisket for a special occasion other than Shabbos. Slow-cooked meats are the perfect choice for entertaining. While the protein finishes its last hour or half hour of cooking and then rests for another 30 minutes or so, you can enjoy the company of your guests, and a cocktail if desired, while dinner bubbles away without the fear of burning.
If you plan it right, the side dishes can be prepared in advance and warmed in the microwave at the last minute. Remember to let your guests help. If you're persnickety about how things look or are cooked and presented, save the table setting for butter-finger friends.
This recipe is from Marlene Rothenberg of Munster, Indiana.