Easy Sweet and Sour Brisket

Closed up of sliced brisket on wooden cutting board
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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings

This Sweet and Sour Brisket recipe couldn't be easier -- simply marinate the meat in a virtually prep-free mixture of jarred sauerkraut, canned tomatoes, and brown sugar, and you'll be treated to a tender and delicious meat main dish that works as well for weeknight family meals as it does for Shabbat and holiday feasts. Giora Shimoni recommends preparing the brisket the day before you intend to serve it, "as the taste is enhanced after it sits in the fridge."

Make It a Meal

Start with a bowl of Roasted Carrot, Apple, and Celery Soup. Serve the brisket with roasted potatoes and steamed asparagus, or garlicky Green Beans with Pecans and Date Syrup. For weeknight meals, offer cornbread; for Shabbat or holiday meals, opt for homemade Challah instead. For dessert, go with a light, fruit-based dessert, like a Cherry Crisp served with tea.  


  • 5-pound (2.5 kilos) brisket
  • 32-ounce jar (2 550-gram cans in Israel) sauerkraut, drained
  • 28-ounce (800 grams) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the brisket in a roasting pan. In a large bowl, mix together the sauerkraut, canned tomatoes, and brown sugar. Pour the mixture over the brisket. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. (If you are using foil to cover the pan, tent it so that it does not touch the marinade or meat, as this could impart a metallic flavor to the brisket.)

  2. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325 F/165 C. When the oven is hot, place the roasting pan on the center rack. Bake the brisket for approximately 3 hours, or until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket reads 190 F for well done. 

  3. Remove the brisket from the oven. When it is cool enough to handle, carefully transfer the meat to a cutting board. Thinly slice the brisket against the grain, important in meat with connective tissue to ensure that the meat is tender. 

  4. Transfer the meat to a platter and serve with the pan sauce. Or, if making ahead, return the sliced brisket to the roasting pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat, covered, before serving.