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Beef brisket

I always think of my good friend Susan who on 9/11, after the towers collapsed, was told to go home from work and was so distraught and didn’t know what to do, she chose to go to her butcher and bought a beef brisket; hoping to find solace in an enormous slab of beef. The very idea of brisket is comforting; it is a homey dish in my mind. However, every Jewish holiday I have attended, with accompanying brisket, has almost always fallen short of my juicy, tender beef idealization.

My husband was raised Jewish and brisket is a Rosh Hashanah staple. He did not want a New Year’s family dinner this year but I insisted we try to pull it together at the last minute, At 6:30 the night before, we decide to plunge in and purchase the meat – a six and a half pound brisket – for 5 of us! Yikes! Now we had to convince Zach to be home by 3:30 to put this baby in. After dinner on Tuesday night, I got to work on a marinade. Not liking the sound of any one recipe online, I proceeded to make up my own. So here we go. This was so delicious; I will make this again and again, even if it’s not a Jewish holiday. I wanted to drink the gravy and then put it on everything afterwards, it was that good.



1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
3 cups of chopped onions
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 can tomato paste
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4  cup soy sauce
2 tsp. Kosher salt
6 1/2 lb. beef brisket
3 – 4 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/4” pieces
3 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut in 1 1/4” chunks

Whisk together the garlic, onions, vinegar, red wine, mustard, tomato paste, brown sugar, soy sauce and salt in a very large bowl. Wash and dry the meat and submerge it in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Turn it over in the morning.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take meat out 45 minutes before putting in the oven. Place meat and 3/4 of the marinade in a covered pot or Dutch oven (Le Creuset is best). Discard the rest of the marinade. Roast for 3 hours Add carrots and potatoes. Cover again and at 3 1/2  hours, add tomatoes and cook for 45 minutes more. It should be fork tender.

Remove the meat to a platter. Take the vegetables out with a slotted spoon and surround the meat with them on the platter. Boil the marinade, skimming off all the grease that will form at the top as you rapidly boil for 20 minutes or so, until greaseless and slightly thickened.

Generously drizzle gravy over the meat and vegetables, garnish with parsley. Carve in 1/4” slices on an angle and serve. Pass extra gravy at the table.

You will be amazed.


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