Pomegranate Molasses Brisket

Here is a decidedly different take on your usual holiday brisket. Pomegranates are eaten at Rosh Hashanah as part of the “new fruit” blessing because of their layered symbolism and meaning in the Jewish religion. This Pomegranate Molasses Brisket is a tasty way to integrate pomegranates into your Rosh Hashanah menu. The marinated meat is slowly cooked to a tender, flaky texture. The slow cooking process infuses the brisket with the rich flavor of pomegranate molasses, garlic, and spice.

I recommend using my recipe for homemade pomegranate molasses in this recipe. Bottled pomegranate molasses can vary greatly in terms of sweetness/tartness and flavor. My recipe is simple, and it produces a beautiful molasses with the perfect ratio of sweet to tart. It works fabulous as a marinade for this brisket, and it won’t take you long to whip up a batch. If you prefer to use bottled, taste the marinade before you use it on the meat… if it tastes too tart, add a little brown sugar to counteract the tartness. The marinade shouldn’t be super sweet, but it shouldn’t be unbearably tart either.

Serve the brisket over freshly cooked saffron rice garnished with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for a pretty presentation. This is a colorful, beautiful and exotic option for your Rosh Hashanah menu, or for any special occasion. Enjoy!

Recommended Products:

Ceramic Roasting Pan


Immersion Blender

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Pomegranate Molasses Brisket


  • 4-5 lb beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional, for garnish)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional, for garnish)

You will also need

  • ceramic or glass roasting dish, large skillet, plastic wrap, immmersion blender
Servings: 4-5 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Rinse the brisket and pat dry, then place in a ceramic or glass oven-safe roasting dish. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together pomegranate molasses, ¼ cup olive oil, minced garlic cloves, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Pour half of the marinade over the top of the brisket, making sure the entire surface is covered in an even layer. Turn the brisket over and pour the other half of the marinade over the brisket so both sides are evenly coated.
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or up to two days.
  • When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Take the brisket out of the marinade, scraping any excess marinade back into the roasting dish. Place the brisket into the skillet. Brown the brisket on both sides (about 5 minutes per side).
  • While brisket is browning, stir ¼ cup of water into the marinade at the bottom of the roasting dish to make it more liquid.
  • Transfer brisket back to the roasting dish on top of the liquid marinade, making sure the fatty layer is on top. Place sliced onions into the hot skillet. Saute the onions for 10-15 minutes, scraping up the brown bits as the onions cook.
  • When onions are nicely browned and caramelized, pour them over the top of the brisket along with the brown bits and oil from the skillet. Use a spoon to scoop up some of the marinade from the bottom of the dish; spoon marinade over the top of the onions.
  • Cover the roasting dish with foil. Place brisket in the oven and let it slowly roast for 4-5 hours. It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat (leaner cuts of meat may take longer—test for doneness). If your cut of brisket is very lean, you may need a little more water to keep it moist while it cooks. Check halfway through cooking and add more water to the bottom of the dish, if needed. The brisket will shrink by about 1/3 in size as it cooks. Brisket is ready when it flakes tenderly. You can let it cook even longer if you like a soft, shredded texture.
  • Scrape the cooked onions off the top of the brisket. Reserve.
  • Remove brisket from the pan and place it on a cutting board.
  • Cover the brisket with foil to keep it warm. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing; this will allow the juices to distribute through the meat.
  • Strain pan drippings from the roasting pan into a saucepan and allow to cool.
  • Once the pan drippings have cooled slightly, you will see the clear fat rise to the surface of the liquid. Skim as much of this fat off of the surface as you can.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the reserved onions into the cooking liquid. This will thicken the sauce and add flavor. If you'd like a stronger, more pronounced pomegranate flavor, you can also blend in an additional 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses (optional). Warm the sauce in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.
  • Place brisket slices into a serving dish. Pour the warmed sauce over the brisket slices.
  • My favorite way to serve this brisket is sliced over freshly cooked saffron rice. I like to garnish it with fresh pomegranate seeds (arils) and fresh mint for a colorful and aromatic presentation.

Comments (71)Post a Comment

    1. Hi Micki, the pomegranate molasses recipe is linked in the blog above. Here is the direct link: link to theshiksa.com

      The marinade is a combination of 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.

  1. It’s official, you have blown my mind. I hadn’t known of pomegranate molasses, but I do love the flavor of pomegranate… and on a brisket…. oh my.

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Okay – THIS is stunning! What an amazing recipe and I LOVE the build up to this yummy dish! A tasty way to incorporated the celebrated foods of Rosh Hashannah!

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This recipe looks really yummy and I must have a try. The only change I would make is to place the uncut, cooled brisket in the refrigerator (with the sauce) overnight. This allows the flavor to develop even more and makes the brisket alot easier to cut.

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This looks like a wonderful take on the usual brisket! I love the look of that plate of food…so colorful! I feel like I can taste it right through the screen! beautiful pics!

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I have fresh pomegranates growing in the yard , this looks like a wonderful use for them, although I may get evicted from Texas for making a brisket that isn’t BBQ’d . Thank you for all the wonderful recipes !

  6. We had this for supper with the fresh saffron rice and it was delish! Thanks for posting such detail with pictures – It really helps!

  7. Hi Tori, shavua tov! Im so glad I discovered your blog. I love your recipes. Looking forward to making this for Rosh Hashanah, maybe some allspice would go well with it also?

    1. Thanks for reading Julia! Allspice might be a nice touch, but taste the molasses before you add any additional spice– it’s a strong, distinct flavor on its own, so it’s best to taste it first and then spice if you feel it needs it. Have a terrific holiday!

  8. Tori, couldn’t one just combine some pomegranate juice with some molasses from a bottle in order to make the sauce if one is rushed for time? Thank you.

    1. Hi Tammy, unfortunately no– it won’t have the same consistency or flavor as reduced sauce. If you’re pressed for time, you can boil it at a hotter temperature and it will reduce faster, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

  9. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I Rosh Hashanah is a distant memory by now but I’ve just come across you’re recipe and I am not going to let a little thing like Rosh Hashanah get in the way of me making this! I’ve been convincing myself for a while now to finally learn to cook brisket. Coming from London brisket is not a cut of meat you can easily come by. Now in Israel, and surrounded by lots of American ex-pats I managed to get my hands on some and have been looking for an delicious looking recipe. Thanks!

  10. Hi Tori,
    I would love to make this recipe, but I don’t have a glass or ceramic roasting dish. Can I make this in my metal roasting pan?

    1. Thanks for asking Barbara. Tori, I was wondering if I could make this in a crockpot. Do everything up to browning it and then put the watered down sauce over the browned meat in a crock pot instead. What do you think?

  11. I made this recipe last night for Rosh Hashanah dinner with several friends. It was a HUGE hit. I went ahead and made it in the crock pot. It was probably the best brisket I’ve ever made. My husband wants me to keep this recipe forever. Thanks again, Tori.

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I made this for Rosh Hashana and it was amazing! I made my own molasses by reducing 1 liter of pomegranate juice to a little more than 1 cup (so easy!). I didn’t sweeten it, but I added a bit of brown sugar to the gravy when it was done. I brine my brisket in advance with salt and garlic, so I left those ingredients out of the actual marinade.

    I’m using the leftover molasses to make this: link to epicurious.com So good with veggies or pita.

    Shana tova!

  13. Hi Tori,
    I can’t wait to taste this! I have about 15 lbs of brisket (6 different pieces of meat) marinating and plan to cook them tomorrow in two different large roasting pans. Approximately how long do you think I should cook them?

    Shana Tova!

    1. Wow, Suzanne, that’s a lot of brisket! I’m guessing each brisket averages 2 1/2 lbs. Generally the rule of thumb is 1 hour per pound of meat– but with that many briskets cooking at the same time, the heat will disperse in the oven, so cooking times will vary greatly. I would check them after 3 hours, then every half hour thereafter, till the meat is fork tender. My guess is you’ll need 5 hours or longer to get it all nice and tender… but again, it will depend on your oven. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out for you. :)

  14. Thank you Tori! This sounds like a great plan. I am also making your citrus honey glazed root veggies. Love your blog too!

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi Tori…my brisket was a huge hit! It took about 5 hours for the 15+ lbs to cook. I thought initially that the cinnamon flavor was too pronounced but after resting a day and then slicing and reheating, the taste could not have been more perfect. And the citrus honey glazed veggies were a dream as well. Thank you for such fantastic recipes and a very fun blog…I will be back again and again!

  16. Hi there, I love your blog. I made this recipe for the 3rd time after being a hit the first 2 times. Somehow, it didn’t taste the same this time. It tasted a little too sour. Any suggestions on why? Also a little drier. It was a 2.3 pound first cut brisket. I know it is not as fatty as the 2nd cut.

    1. Hi Phyllis! It may be because you used a 2.3 pound brisket. The smaller the brisket, the faster it will cook and “dry out.” As for the sour taste, were you using the same batch of pomegranate molasses you used in the other briskets, or did you make or buy a new one? Store bought molasses is much more sour. If you were using a batch you previously made, it may have soured a bit as it aged… I haven’t experienced that myself, but it’s possible. Also, because the brisket was smaller and cooked faster, as it dried out the molasses may have changed flavor a bit. You are right, 2nd cut is fattier, and when cooking a smaller brisket I like to choose the fattiest one I can find. I usually make 4-5 lb. briskets (or bigger) because they tend yield better results. There is always something you can do with the leftovers. 😉 Of course, it’s always possible the particular brisket you chose was just not a great one… that’s happened to me in the past. If you made a new batch of molasses, the fruit may not have been sweet or ripe enough. Lots of possibilities here. I would suggest making a new batch of homemade molasses for future briskets, and sticking to larger cuts if you can. Good luck!

  17. Hi
    Thank you for your response. I did make a fresh batch of molasses using top grade pomegranate juice. I used the convection setting of the oven too. Do you like that setting?
    I think you are right larger cuts are probably better. Anyway, love what you re doing and am a big fan. I’m telling all my friends…:)

    1. Aww, thanks Phyllis! That is very kind of you, I appreciate you helping to spread the word. I don’t usually use the convection setting, it tends to cook faster and because not everybody has a convection oven, it’s better for me to test recipes without it. I do find it useful for reheating crispy things, like latkes, because it’s a drier heat that circulates throughout the oven. For a low-and-slow dish like brisket, you would probably be better off using the regular bake setting. Hope the next brisket turns out better!

  18. I’m wondering if this would go well with kasha and bowties. My family insists I make that for Rosh Hashonah each year and don’t want to serve another starch. Whaddya think? Also, how prominent is the cinnamon?

  19. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hello Tory,
    Though I don’t eat red meat I think this would be a great recipe to do with turkey breast too. I think I will consider it for Thanks Giving. What do you think?

    1. Hi Ruti– it might be, but I’ve never tried it myself so I hesitate to tell you to go for it. Breast meat can be tricky, and the pomegranate molasses is more suited to quick cooking. With the amount of time it takes to cook a turkey breast, the pomegranate topping will burn, so you would need to cover it with foil, which may make the topping slip off altogether. Instead, I would suggesting roasting the breast as you would normally, with herbs. Then make a batch of pomegranate molasses from my recipe. Drizzle each serving of turkey with the molasses. It will have the same kind of sweet/tartness that you would get from cranberry sauce. Hope that helps!

  20. Hi Tori-
    I would like to make this the night before serving. Would you suggest preparing the entire dish and sticking in the fridge or save the last steps for the following day? Any advice on best way to reheat?

    1. Hi Erin! Here are my brisket reheating instructions for this recipe:

      When the whole brisket is cooked to fork tender, 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 if it isn’t already in one (aluminum from the roasting pan can react with the acid 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. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce together with the onions (you can do this directly in the roasting dish or pour it out and do it in a separate mixing bowl if that’s easier). 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. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  21. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi Tori, I made my own molasses as per your recepie, then tried it for your recepie for pomegranate glazed salmon a few times- it got “the best salmon I ever ate” reward from the kids. When molasses were about 4 weeks old, I tried them- they were fine (same batch), I followed your pomegranate brisket recepie but accidentally used 2 lbs of brisket to a full stated amount of marinade (which i did overnight)- it came out too sour-tart and with no hint of the delicious flavor that the salmon had. I also kept it in for 3 hrs. Where do you think I went wrong? Thank you!

    1. Hi Julia– next time, follow the recommended amounts of marinade to brisket weight. Using too much marinade will result in a sauce that is too tart, like you experienced.

    1. Hi Chaya– I am not familiar with brick roast, but from what I can gather online it is similar to a pot roast. If that is the case, it should work just fine. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Joana, I don’t cook with shoulder very often but from what I gather the method should be similar– it needs a long, slow cook in liquid to become tender. The only modification might be a longer cook time, but I can’t offer an exact suggestion as I don’t generally use that cut. Good luck!

  22. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Update: just to let people know that also shoulder the recipd comes out really good! Thanks for this amazing recipe. A keeper!

  23. Hi 2 years later and have been making this brisket to everyone’s satisfaction. Actually everyone’s rave reviews. Have a dilemma-
    I bought 3 2nd cut briskets 2 about 4 pounds and 1 about 2 pounds
    I put them in separate 9×13 pyrex baking dishes and my oven only fits 2 on one rack. Can I put all of them in an All-Clad roaster and one on top of the other?
    I browned all 3 with onions and put one in the fridge until the other 2 are done. Any other suggestions?

    1. Phyllis I think they will be fine in the roaster, but always better to lay them side-by-side rather than piling them up. Maybe give yourself some extra cook time in case the crowded pan doesn’t cook as quickly. Another option is a slow cooker, do you have one? If yes you can cook one of the briskets in it on low for 8-10 hours.

  24. Hi Tori

    I can’t wait to try your pomegranate molasses brisket for the first night of Hannukah. Is it OK to use an iron Dutch Oven, instead of glass or ceramic? Thanks so much, Tori!


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