Slow Cooker Brisket with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck is a unique annual online event. I’ve invited my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to share recipes that are kosher for Passover. My goals are simple– to foster mutual understanding between different cultures, to introduce you to my foodie friends, and to share yummy recipes and cooking ideas for Passover! To learn more about the Passover holiday, click here. To learn about what makes a recipe kosher for Passover, click here. To check out the other Passover Potluck recipes, click here.

I met Cheryl D. Lee from the blog Black Girl Chef’s Whites during Thanksgiving last year. Our friend Patti Londre invited us both to participate in a holiday event for local food bloggers, which was covered by the LA Times. There, I got to taste her Spiced Roasted Root Vegetables (a vegan side dish that can also be made for the Seder), and I was hooked. Cheryl is a gem– she’s a professional chef, and she really knows good food. I’m excited for you to meet her!

This recipe contains some fun flavors from South of the border. The cooking method requires you to marinate the brisket in herbs and spices for several hours, so plan ahead. I love that the cooking method frees up room in your oven, so you can fit other dishes in there while the brisket slowly cooks on the countertop. The recipe is also gluten free (if you have gluten intolerance, make sure all ingredients are certified GF). Awesome!  ~ Tori

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Cheryl says:

What’s a Christian girl like me doing making a brisket for Passover?  Food reaches across all ethnic and religious lines, in my opinion.  Food is one way to break barriers between people. ‘Breaking bread’ is a Biblical term meaning both the literal tearing of bread or the sharing of a meal with others. Even if you don’t speak the same language as another, if you sit and share a meal with them, you come to an understanding.

Years ago when I was starting my culinary career I worked for a small café in Brooklyn owned by a Jewish couple. Hanukkah and Passover where big catering holidays for us. I learned to make brisket, matzoh balls, tzimmes, kugel, charoset and even gefilte fish! We were not a kosher kitchen, but did follow the strict rules regarding the preparation of food for the Jewish holidays.

I learned how to make all of these dishes from the African-American female head chef named Leslie. Leslie had worked for the café for so long she had all these recipes and techniques ingrained in her head. She wasn’t Jewish, but didn’t need to be to appreciate and learn about another culture or religious tradition.

So you see, food really does cross all barriers.

This version of brisket is influenced by Mexican cuisine. Growing up in Southern California, I was exposed to the Mexican culture through food. I used dried chipotle chile peppers to add a smoky heat to the sauce. If you are unable to find whole dried chipotle chiles, you can substitute with 1 teaspoons ground chipotle chile or ancho chile powder, or 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes.

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Slow Cooker Brisket with Chipotle-Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 whole beef brisket, 5-6 lbs.
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1-2 dried chipotle chile
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, divided
  • Cilantro (optional)

You will also need

  • A slow cooker
Servings: 12
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Mix the cumin, oregano, thyme and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spices over the entire brisket and let marinate for 8 - 24 hours.
  • In a large slow cooker, layer the onions, garlic, and chipotle, then place the brisket on top. Pour the wine over the brisket, then sprinkle 1/3 cup dried cranberries on top. Set the slow cooker to high and the timer to 6 hours.
  • Turn the brisket over after 5 hours, making sure that the cranberries are immersed in the liquid.
  • When the brisket is done, remove it from the slow cooker to a plate. Pour the remaining ingredients from the slow cooker into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree into a small pan.
  • Using either water or broth, thin the puree out to a thinner, sauce consistency. Add the remaining 2/3 cup dried cranberries and let them warm and plump in the sauce. Adjust the seasoning to taste, if needed.
  • Slice the brisket thinly, and ladle a some sauce onto the slices. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Comments (21)Post a Comment

  1. Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing your recipe, and for sharing your thoughts on “breaking bread” together. I couldn’t agree more! You cook with your whole heart– that’s what makes it taste so good! :)

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño pepper; you won’t find chipotle peppers(raw, dried, or smoked), but you may find smoke-dried jalapeños. There should be virtually no difference between the powder and the pepper in heat or taste… this recipe looks wonderful; it really does mesh cultures in a satisfying way. Congratulations to the chef!

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Hi Cheryl – that is one beauty of a brisket. We cooked ours yesterday – 3 briskets for a total of 16 lbs. of meat – 8 hours of slow cooking.
    Love the pairing of chipotle and cranberries with brisket. I never change my Passover brisket recipe, but I am seriously considering trying yours next year. Thanks!!

  4. I love cranberries with some spice to them. I have used the combo with bruschetta, but never with a brisket. Fabulous idea. I imagine it makes the meat quite succulent.

  5. I hope you all make this brisket and enjoy!

    Thank you Tori for inviting me to participate in the #passoverpotluck! I found new blogs to read, new recipes to try and will be making my brisket recipe again!

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Took a chance on this interestng recipe because brisket is almost obligatory on seder night.Easy to follow and the results were fantastic. Tender, deep flavors, sort of knocked it out of the park .Created a reference standard, it was that good. Thanks for the inspiration.P.S. Made the sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple chunks and that was aces as well. Will definitely keep you as a resource and recommend your website to others.

  7. Do you think this would work with a boneless beef chuck( pot roast) I just bought a 6.5 lb one. How much longer do you think I should cook it? What about making in advance and freezing ? Whole or sliced?
    Would love advice & suggestions.
    I can’t wait to make some of your recipes( apple challah, honey roast chicken etc. thanks!

  8. I tried this tonight. I used 1.5 tsp chipotle powder and put all the cranberries in the pot up front. It was really good! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I just made it yesterday and it was fantastic, I did not have smoked chipotle powder so I used instead hot paprika in oil that I had from Israel, I work all day, so I just put the crockpot setting to low 10 hours, when I got home the house smelled amazing and the meat just fell apart when I tried to remove it from the juices. Very very yummy.

  10. i want to make this for tomorrow for shabbos
    can you tell me you only marinade the herbs with the meat ? no stock with it ?

    1. Hi Lucy, I think the chiles become reconstituted in the crock pot. Not sure if Cheryl (the recipe creator) is subscribed to this thread but I would make it as-written, since the liquid in the cooker will reconstitute the peppers fairly quickly.

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