How To Prepare a Delicious Passover Brisket

Brisket is a Passover tradition. For many, a Passover meal is incomplete without this large, revered cut of beef. Others, like Stephanie Pierson, who wrote "The Brisket Book" take it even further by stating, “Some foods will improve your meal, your mood, your day, your buttered noodles. Brisket will improve your life.”

While brisket can be grilled or smoked, braising is the preferred method of preparation in early April.

There are countless recipes and variations for how to perfect the ideal brisket. We’ve collected a few to help you prepare a delicious centerpiece for your Passover meal.

Traditional Passover Brisket

Rafael Hope, a Jewish writer from Israel and co-founder of the website Amen V Amen, said Passover brisket “is the most important meal of the day” for a Seder host or hostess.

“It’s the traditional Passover dish that fills all the empty stomachs around the table that are patiently waiting for the cue to start eating. Because let’s face it, there’s a limit to how many Matzos you can eat in one sitting -- you need real food!”

“Plus,” Hope added, “you need something that goes well with red wine."

Here is his recipe.

  • 1 beef brisket (4-5 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, kosher for Passover
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce, kosher for Passover
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. With a knife, cut most of the brisket’s fat (leave a small portion of it on top). Rub the brisket with garlic and scatter salt and black pepper over it. Sear the brisket in oil in a large roasting pan until brown on top, then turn to other side so both sides are brown and crisp. While the brisket is searing, mix the red wine, sugar, ketchup, chili sauce, and bay leaves in a bowl. Remove the pan from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cover the brisket with the sauce and sliced onions. Add the thyme on top, and sprinkle salt & pepper over the pan. Cover the pan with foil and cook in the oven for around 3 hours. Stick a fork in the meat to check if it’s properly cooked and ready. Take out the brisket and slice it. Let it cool down, and reheat before serving.

Recipe Notes: The brown sugar can be reduced or even omitted. Many people prefer it less sweet. You can also add beef stock or beef broth to make it juicier.

Serve with mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, or your preferred side dish.

Mama Suzy’s Brisket Recipe

“Mama Suzy was my grandmother,” said Abby Curtis of Scottsdale, Ariz.

The recipe has been passed down through generations, said Curtis, who will make the dish for Passover dinner. She will host more than a dozen people at her table.

“Passover is a time for us as a family to get together to reconnect as everyone is busy in their own day-to-day lives,” she said. “It gives us a chance to celebrate our family and our religious traditions.”

  • 1 beef brisket (3-5 pounds)
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 6-8 small or baby potatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • Black pepper and garlic powder to taste

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. On the stovetop, brown both sides of the brisket and remove. Brown sliced onion with drippings from the brisket. In a large roaster, fat side up, place brisket and season with pepper and garlic powder. Do not add salt. Add carrots and small potatoes. Pour onions on top of brisket. Mix coffee and ketchup and stir until well blended. Pour over brisket and cover with foil. Cook 2-2 1/2 hours , basting occasionally.

Braised Brisket

Chef Michael Luboff’s Roasted Brisket of Beef with Sweet & Sour Pan Gravy

This recipe comes from Chef Michael Luboff, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations at Stew Leonard’s. In the recipe, Chef Michael Luboff combines two of his favorite childhood dishes: his mother’s roasted beef brisket and sweet-and-sour meatballs with cabbage.

  • 1 beef brisket (approximately 5-7 pounds)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp sour salt
  • 8 oz. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp whole dried thyme
  • 1 pound cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock

In a large pan, sear both sides of the brisket (about 3 minutes per side) in a 1/2 inch of olive oil on medium-high heat. Place the cabbage, onions, carrots and celery in the bottom of a large roasting pan; place the brisket on top. Mix the remaining ingredients until blended. Pour the mixture over the brisket and cover all with aluminum foil. Bake until fork tender (about 2 hours). Remove the brisket and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Cut against the grain of the meat and ladle generously with sweet & sour pan gravy.

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