Savory Herb Braised Brisket

We’re still recovering from Purim, and already Passover is upon us! I love this time of year. The eight day long Passover holiday commemorates the Biblical story of Exodus, in which the Israelite Jewish slaves of Ancient Egypt are liberated from slavery. Passover is a celebration of freedom. It’s an expression of gratitude for the freedom we have (and so often take for granted). It’s also an opportunity for the Jewish people to connect to their shared spiritual history. In a ritual feast known as the Passover Seder, the story of Exodus is told. Prayers and blessings are recited, songs fill the air, and beautiful traditions are kept alive through ancient customs. For Jews, the ritual of a Passover Seder meal is filled with reverence. The same prayers and stories have been said over the Passover table for centuries. It’s a beautiful holiday that never fails to fill me with joy. The celebration of Passover is one of the many reasons I connected to Judaism, and eventually converted.

Many Christians also celebrate Passover in connection with the Christian holiday of Easter. In recent years, it has become more common for churches and Christian groups to host their own short Passover Seders, often led by visiting Rabbis. This spirit of cultural sharing is a wonderful way for people of different faiths to find common ground and foster mutual understanding.

A Jewish Passover celebration comes with a list of dietary laws that must be adhered to in addition to the normal kosher laws. For the eight days of Passover, we do not eat chametz, or leavened bread products. When the Jews fled Egypt, they did not have time to let their bread rise. Instead, they brought unleavened bread with them into the desert, which was baked by the sun (which is, in essence, matzo). That’s why we use matzo and matzo meal products rather than leavened bread or grains during Passover.

While some folks dread the dietary restrictions of a kosher Jewish Passover, I welcome them as a unique culinary challenge. Over the years I’ve embraced the idea of cooking without chametz. It’s pushed me to think outside the box and get creative with my cooking. I’ve been working hard and digging into my recipe archives to find some easy, yummy recipes for your Seder table. I’m excited to share these recipes with you!

In an effort to be both tasty and healthy, a lot of my Passover recipes this year will be gluten free or feature easy GF modifications. Because of the restriction on leavened grains, Passover is a great time to find substitutes for ingredients with gluten. For my gluten free readers, you’ll be pleased to know that many of my Passover recipes can be put into your regular meal rotation throughout the year!

Today’s recipe is a savory entrée for your Passover table. This braised brisket is slowly cooked over a long period of time, allowing the fresh herbs to deeply flavor the meat. Your house will smell amazing! Choose a fatty cut of brisket for best results; first or second cut will both work fine (first cut is typically leaner). No matter which cut you choose, don’t let the butcher trim the fat cap/layer off—the excess fat makes the brisket moist and fork-tender after a day of slow cooking. You can trim the excess fat after cooking.

Make gravy from the pan drippings using a slurry of potato starch, then cover the meat with the rich herby brown sauce. Need a complimentary starch? You can serve the meat and sauce over my Yukon Gold Mash with Rosemary and Garlic (recipe posting tomorrow). Your guests will swoon. The best part is, it’s all very simple to make!

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Savory Herb Braised Brisket

Ingredients

  • 5-7 lb brisket
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 onions, diced
  • 5 carrots, carrots, peeled & sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 celery stalks, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 qt beef broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Potato starch (optional)
  • Fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

You will also need

  • Large heavy roasting pan (not aluminum or disposable)
  • aluminum foil
Total Time: 6 - 8 Hours
Servings: 6-8
Kosher Key: Meat, Kosher for Passover
  • GF Note: If you’re cooking gluten free, make sure that your beef broth and potato starch are certified GF.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Rinse the brisket and pat dry. Rub both sides of the meat with black pepper and kosher salt.
  • Heat roasting pan over a medium flame on the stovetop. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Brown the brisket on both sides—it will take about 4 minutes per side.
  • Remove brisket from the pan. Drizzle a little more olive oil in the pan and add the diced onions, carrot slices and celery chunks. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with your spatula.
  • When onion is translucent and carrot slices are slightly caramelized, scoop them out of the pan and place in a bowl. Pour beef broth into the bottom of your pan till covered. Scrape up any remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan as the broth heats up.
  • When broth is hot, add half your vegetables back into the pan spread out across the bottom. Place your brisket back into the pan, fatty side facing up. Place garlic cloves on top of the meat, evenly spaced. Add the remaining veggies to the pan, spreading them on top of the brisket to cover. Place herbs on top of the brisket and in the broth, evenly dispersed.
  • Pour more beef broth into the pan until it goes halfway up the sides of your brisket. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and place in the oven.
  • Let it roast undisturbed for 5 to 7 hours. It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat (leaner cuts of meat may take longer—test for doneness). Brisket is ready when it flakes tenderly. You can let it cook even longer for a soft, shredded texture (my favorite!).
  • Remove brisket from the pan and let it rest on the cutting board for 20-30 minutes before slicing.
  • Strain pan drippings from the roasting pan into a saucepan and allow to cool.
  • Skim fat from the surface of the pan drippings…
  • then reheat the remaining liquid till hot (not boiling). Thicken with a slurry of potato starch to make gravy, if desired. You can alternately blend the softened vegetables into the gravy to thicken it.
  • Cut fat cap off the brisket…
  • then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.
  • Serve topped with pan juices or thickened gravy, along with the softened veggies if you have reserved them.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
  • To Make Ahead: After cooking the brisket, open the foil to vent and let the brisket slowly return to room temperature. Switch the brisket and sauce to a ceramic or glass dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the brisket chill overnight, or up to two days. You can also freeze the brisket up to a week ahead if you prefer. 1-2 hours before serving, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The fat in the sauce will have risen to the top, turned white, and solidified. Use a spoon to scoop the fat bits out of the sauce and discard. Take the brisket out of the dish and brush any excess sauce back into the dish. Place brisket on a cutting board, fat-side up. Slice the meat cold—first cut the fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain. Return the sliced meat to the dish and spoon sauce over it, making sure to spoon a little sauce between each slice. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven. Let the brisket roast for 45-60 minutes till heated through. You can cook it even longer to let it become more tender, if you wish. Serve with hot sauce and softened veggies. You can also blend the veggies into the sauce to thicken it, if you prefer.

 

Comments (57)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I love the make over of the blog, it looks great. My family will love your recipe, especially my husband. Thank you <3

  2. Love the new layout of the site. Your food photography is so beautiful! I’m going to be trying this recipe for sure. Thank you!

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Oh this looks wonderful! I can’t wait to make it. Thank you for the great step by step instructions and the nice pictures. I LOVE the new look of your blog, Tori!!! It’s just beautiful!

    Your Shiksa friend who can’t WAIT for Passover,
    Carol

  4. I’m visiting your blog by way of OMSH. Oh my … I am smitten with your blog and I immediately want to cook this brisket!

    I am a new fan.

    The Nanner (It’s what my grandkids call me…goes back to practical jokes involving bananas a few years ago.)

    1. Welcome Nancy (aka Nanner)! Happy to have you as part of our cooking community. OMSH is the best, I can’t thank her enough for her website design work. :)

      Carol, so happy you like the site redesign. I’m thrilled with it!

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi there. Brisket looks yummy but why didn’t you slice it against the gain? Against the grain equals holiday. With the grain equals pulled beef for sandwiches (at least that’s how it is in our house) Love the blog otherwise!! Big fun!

    1. Hi Ruth– actually, this brisket IS sliced against the grain (if you look closely at the photo of the slices, you’ll see that it’s cut against the grain). I prefer cooking the brisket for a long period of time to get that shredded tender meat, rather than the slices. It’s just a personal preference. You don’t need to cook it as long as I did, if you prefer more intact slices. Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

    1. Hi Donna– yes, you can, but you shouldn’t use it to braise the brisket and veggies on the stovetop because the aluminum tin is too thin for direct contact with the stovetop. Use a heavy roasting pan or large pot/skillet to braise the beef and veggies, then transfer it to the aluminum pan to roast. Good luck!

  6. Why do we discard the veggies in this recipe? I’m just curious. I just finished making the brisket and I like w/ veggies and all!

    1. Hey Diana – Actually, in the print version of the recipe I said that it’s optional to serve with veggies or without (just didn’t write it in the blog itself). Some people like to include the veggies, some do not. I think they’re yummy, too! They’re really soft and tasty after that slow cook in the herby sauce. Glad you enjoyed the brisket! :)

  7. Hi Tory! Thanks for posting this recipe. I am excited to try it. I went shopping today in our small town store and could not find a brisket, however there was a corned beef brisket. Can I use corned beef by rinsing well first? I haven’t ever used corned beef. I don’t know if it has a pickled taste or is extremely salty after cooking. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Beth, great question! I definitely do NOT recommend using a corned beef brisket; corned beef is cured and will turn out very salty if you use this recipe to cook it. You might want to ask your local butcher if they carry brisket. Do you have a Trader Joes nearby? They stock brisket, too. It’s a pretty common cut. If you don’t have many options where you live, you can also use a pot roast cut with this recipe. You might not need to cook it quite as long, depending on how tender you want it, so keep an eye on it as it cooks. Good luck! :)

  8. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I just want to tell you that I love your blog and your recipes. I am going to make your brisket for Passover but since my son will not eat anything with carrotts what I do is put the veggies through the blender so he can’t see them. That not only thickens the gravy but gives it a great taste. Just an FYI.
    Happy cooking and a sweet passover.

    1. Hi Anna– I’m so sorry, for some reason I never noticed this comment. The answer is long overdue, and will probably be helpful to others. To make ahead, after cooking the brisket, open the foil to vent and let the brisket slowly return to room temperature. Switch the brisket and sauce to a ceramic or glass dish (aluminum from the roasting pan can react with the vinegar in the sauce, which can cause an off taste if left to sit). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the brisket chill overnight, or up to two days. You can also freeze the brisket up to a week ahead if you prefer. 1-2 hours before serving, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The fat in the sauce will have risen to the top, turned white, and solidified. Use a spoon to scoop the fat bits out of the sauce and discard. Take the brisket out of the dish and brush any excess sauce back into the dish. Place brisket on a cutting board, fat-side up. Slice the meat cold—first cut the fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain. Return the sliced meat to the dish and spoon sauce over it, making sure to spoon a little sauce between each slice. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven. Let the brisket roast for 45-60 minutes till heated through. You can cook it even longer to let it become more tender, if you wish. Serve with hot sauce and softened veggies, or you can do as others have done on this thread and blend the veggies into the sauce to thicken it. Hope that is helpful! I will post it in the above recipe, too.

  9. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I made this brisket for my Passover seder, and it got rave reviews. It was super easy to make, tasted delicious and looked beautiful. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    By the way, I didn’t strain the veggies out of the sauce. I left them in and blended it with the potato starch. It was really delicious. Thanks!

  10. Hi, I really love all your recipes and wanted to make this for a dinner I am having with my friends tomorrow. I am a college student and don’t own a non-disposable roasting pan. Will it turn out alright if I use a disposable one?

    1. Goldie– Yes, but you’ll need to do the searing (browning) of the brisket in a skillet or some other type of heavy pot. The disposable roasting pan is too thin for stovetop use. After the stovetop browning, just transfer the ingredients to the disposable roasting pan and you should be fine. Let me know how it turns out for you!

      Rebekah, I’m thrilled you made the brisket for Passover, so happy you enjoyed it! :)

  11. When I went to print this, it just printed the ingredients. Just an FYI…I am trying this today…my first brisket was a disaster, so I have high hopes for this one. :-)

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    We just made this for sukkot — perfect for a crisp autumn night! Browned in skillet then cooked in foil pan. Wanted to keep it gluten-free; couldn’t find GF beef broth so used GF onion soup mix instead — a bit salty, but quite tasty! Kids and adults gobbled it up. Thank you!

    1. Hi Michal– yes, for sure, you can use a second cut. Second cuts tend to be fattier, so it may produce more natural liquid while cooking. Just keep an eye on it during cooking till it reaches the desired tenderness, you should have no problems. Let me know how you like it! :)

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Tori, thanks so much for this delicious recipe. Am making it now to freeze for Pesach – should I under cook the meat slightly since it will be frozen and reheated? I have a 4 lb brisket…thanks.

    1. Hi Merle, sorry I didn’t answer your comment on the day you posted, it’s been a very busy week. I usually cook the meat all the way before refrigerating (I don’t usually freeze, though you certainly can). If you didn’t cook it all the way, leave yourself plenty of time for reheating so that it will cook to your desired tenderness on the day you serve it. Enjoy!

  14. I have already cooked, sliced and frozen my brisket. After defrosting can I cook it longer in the oven to get it more tender? It is in gravy.

    1. Hi Debbie, yes, you can cook it longer to make it more tender. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be… just make sure the gravy level is high enough to keep it moist. And don’t overcook it, unless you want meaty shreds! Good luck. :)

  15. Thanks Tori,
    like Debbie, I cooked it for about 3.5 hours and then sliced it thin and froze it – it was definately cooked. I also took all the veggies and herbs and blended them up and poured them over the top along with the gravy and froze it all. I plan to cook/reheat for about an hour. Now I’m wondering if it’ll be enough – mostly kids who probably won’t eat much other than sides and soup! LOL!

  16. Thanks Tori! I made your brisket for my seder, and it was a hit! I took a 4 lb. brisket, cooked it for 5 hours, and it was perfect. So delicious. Barely any leftovers! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi Dori– I often use homemade, but I also like Pacific and Imagine organic brands (neither are certified kosher). I haven’t come across a packaged kosher beef broth that I really love. If you need a kosher certified brand, I like Imagine organic kosher chicken broth, which you could easily sub in this recipe for the beef broth– it will be just as delicious. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Meredith– yes, it can absolutely be made in the slow cooker. Sear the brisket and veggies first in a skillet, then transfer to the slow cooker with the liquid. Cook on the low setting for 7-10 hours till desired tenderness is reached. It will turn out delicious. I usually cook it that way during Passover to free up over space. It will have a slightly more “shredded” texture due to the moisture that accumulates during slow cooking. I actually like the meat super tender and a bit shredded, so this works well for me. Your house will smell amazing. Enjoy!

  17. I will fry all ingredients and put them in my pressure cooker or Thermos pot to cook as in the oven 5-7 hrs used a lot of electricity !!
    I noticed that if used pressure cooker, the food tended to be not rich, so I will simmer it for 15 mins after I can open the cover !! Even soup taste better this way !!

  18. Hi Tori: It appears from your photos of the brisket that it is not sliced againt the grain. It looks stringy. This is not the best presentation of the brisket though I am sure it tastes quite good.

    1. Hi Leah. It is sliced against the grain, but it is very well cooked, which is why the meat looks like it is falling apart (or “stringy” as you described it). If you look at the grains of meat, you’ll see their sliced in exactly the opposite direction. I sometimes like to cook my brisket that way, quite tender. It is not my best brisket photo, I’ll admit, I took it when I was just started learning how to take food photos. But I assure you, I’ve known how to slice a brisket for many, many years… and my family still likes their brisket on the soft side. ;)

  19. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This brisket looks great – do you think I could do it in a slow cooker? I believe you had a slow cooker brisket earlier this year which my husband could not stop raving about to everyone!

  20. This looks incredible and I can’t wait to try it–but in the meantime, I’m not finding a recipe for those awesome looking potatoes plated with the finished product… Is that here?

    1. Just toss sliced wedged new potatoes with olive oil, salt, and crushed rosemary. Roast at 400 degrees in the oven on a greased foil-lined baking sheet till tender, stirring once or twice during roasting. :)

  21. You mention that an aluminum pan many react with the vinegar in the sauce but I don’t see any vinegar in the recipe, What type of vinegar and when do I add?

    1. Hi Susan– there is no vinegar in this recipe. I had copied and pasted those make-ahead instructions from another brisket recipe for the convenience of readers, but forgot to omit the part about vinegar. I edited the instructions accordingly. Note that I still recommend transferring the brisket to a ceramic or glass dish if you’re refrigerating overnight; aluminum foil can give foods an off taste if left for long periods of time. Enjoy the brisket!

  22. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Toriiiiiiiii!!!! :D

    I am also a Shiksa. My boyfriend wanted to do a Passover Seder party and make traditional Jewish dishes and have the Haggadah and all. We invited several friends over, and, as is customary, I ended up making everything (haha. Southern girl who can cook – Go figure). I’ve never tried Passover dishes before, so I used your brisket, lokshen kugel, and matzoh ball soup because I trust your shiksa knowledge will lead me to the light. The brisket was phenomenal!!! The pan drippings were soooo delicious. The soup and kugel were also amazing, and it all left everyone in a food coma. I hadn’t had the chance to use your recipes before tonight, but I’m definitely going to be using them in the future.

    Thank you got the awesomely delicious recipes (and subsequent food baby)!!!! :D

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