Brisket Old & New Recipe

A traditional Jewish roast from chef and cookbook author Daphna Rabinovitch Walters. "I didn't really grow up with brisket. For Jewish holidays, my mom, an adventurous cook, mixed traditional dishes with new ethnic ones, but never got around to brisket. When I got married I discovered that New Year's, Hanukkah or Passover were just not the same for my husband without his favourite cranberry and onion brisket. So I have become somewhat of an expert on brisket. Although I'm inclined to try new things, hence this pomegranate brisket, the one constant at our festive dinner tables is Cranberry Brisket (recipe follows)."


New Pomegranate Brisket
1 double brisket* (5 lb.)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, mostly white part, sliced**
3 large onions, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups pomegranate juice, divided
2 cups chicken broth (approx.)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves

Old Cranberry Brisket
2 packages (1-1/2 oz. each) onion soup mix
2 cans (348 mL each) jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup water
1 double brisket* (5 lb.)
Hot pepper flakes, dried garlic powder, dried thyme and pepper to taste

* Brisket is the cut of meat from the lower breast of beef; a double brisket includes the point and some of the flat part.

** To clean leeks, trim off the root end and any coarse green leaves. Cut crosswise into 1/2″ slices; place in sieve. Swish the sieve in a bowl of cold water, pushing the slices apart to separate them and dislodge the sand that hides between the leaves. Rinse well, and shake off the water.


New Pomegranate Brisket

Step 1: Trim the brisket of excess fat, leaving a thin layer of fat remaining. In a small bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and cayenne; rub over the brisket. Place the brisket in a large roasting pan, fat-side up.

Step 2: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, onions, garlic and carrots. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the pomegranate juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil; boil gently for 5 minutes. Add the remaining juice and the broth, wine and bay leaves. Bring just to a boil.

Step 3: Pour the juice mixture over the brisket. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Roast in a 325°F oven, basting every 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender, 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

Step 4: Remove the brisket to a cutting board. Pour the juice mixture and vegetables into a blender or food processor; purée until smooth. Thin with 1/2 cup more chicken broth if necessary to have gravy consistency. Return this puréed gravy and the brisket to the pan. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 5: Spoon off any solidified fat. Remove the brisket to a cutting board; slice thinly across the grain. Return the slices to the pan, spooning some of the gravy over the slices. Cover and reheat in 325°F oven until steaming hot, about 1 hour.

Old Cranberry Brisket

Step 1: Trim the brisket of excess fat, leaving a thin layer of fat remaining. Combine 2 packages (1-1/2 oz. each) onion soup mix with 2 cans (348 mL each) jellied cranberry sauce; whisk together well, adding up to 1/2 cup water to help liquefy. Sprinkle both sides of 1 double brisket (5 lb.) with hot pepper flakes, dried garlic powder, dried thyme and pepper. Place fat-side up in a deep roasting pan. Pour the cranberry sauce mixture overtop, letting it slide under the brisket as well. Cover with foil and marinate overnight. Roast, slice and reheat as in the Pomegranate Brisket recipe above.

See more recipes from Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird.

Reprinted with permission from Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird’s Canada’s Favourite Recipes (2012 Whitecap Books).