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!
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Pomegranate Molasses Brisket
- 4-5 pounds beef brisket
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced
- Fresh mint leaves (optional, for garnish)
- Pomegranate seeds (optional, for garnish)
- 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.
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