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The Perfect Brisket

The Perfect Brisket

Brisket is one of those meats that is so versatile. You can use it for pastrami, corned beefsmoke it or braise it. No matter which way to make it the trick is low and slow.

We’ve all had the misfortune of having dry tough brisket, or at least I have, and about the only thing that it’s good for is a doorstop or as a weapon to cripple your enemies. But when it’s done right it’s one of the most divine, mouthwatering experiences you could have. Well then again there are ribs and ribeye steak which for me are pure examples of heaven, but enough with the digression.

Inspired by the recent Passover holiday I decided to write this post.  We Jews love our brisket, pretty much any excuse to make it, is a good one. Of course, every family has their own recipe that is better than anyone else’s. Hours have been spent arguing (a Jewish form of discussion) over what’s the best recipe, where to get the best meat, how long to cook it etc…

I just had a discussion with my mother who is convinced that the only place to get a good brisket is from the kosher butcher. I do not concur with her findings. For me, it’s about the amount of fat and the thickness of the meat. Forget lean, fat is flavor, I want as much flavor as I can get. It also helps with moisture and the thicker the better. I’d love to get hold of some of the briskets they use in Texas for smoking that would be the ultimate since they are huge and thick and meaty, but alas I’m in Los Angeles and go to Costco to pick up mine.

Here’s my basic recipe for making an awesome succulent brisket that is sure to make everyone uber happy and stuffed.

Make sure you buy one that is about twice the size as you think you need since they shrink by at least 1/3 when they are cooking. This recipe will not only give you a perfect brisket but it will also produce the sauce with little extra effort.

Brisket Recipe

  • YIELD: 8 to 10
  • DIFFICULTY: medium
  • RECIPE TYPE: Entree


  • 5 to 6-pound brisket
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 to 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 6 to 8 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 small can tomato paste 4 oz
  • 12 oz Coke
  • 16 oz Chicken Broth
  • 12 oz beer Dark or Amber
  • 2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons each dry Oregano and Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil
Left before cooking right after. Notice the shrinkage.
  • Generously salt and pepper your brisket and sear it in a pan coated with olive oil. The brisket should be browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Deglaze the pan with chicken broth to get all the little bits and set aside.
  • Peel carrots & parsnips
  • Smash garlic cloves no need to mince or chop.
  • Cut onions and tomatoes in chunks
  • Squeeze oranges into the baking pan then cut up 2 or 3 halves and add to the pan
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and liquid and mix in the pan.
  • Make room in the pan for brisket & place in the center of the pan.
Reducing strained liquid
  • Generously sprinkle paprika over the top of the brisket
  • Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 300-degree oven for 4 hours.
  • After cooking remove and check to make sure the brisket is tender. If not quite ready then cover again and put back in the oven for another 30 mins to 1 hour.
  • When done, remove the brisket from pan and set aside on a sheet pan to cool then cover and place into the refrigerator
  • Strain all liquid into a pan or pot and skim off fat.
  • Reduce liquid by at least half. If you have time, you can place liquid into the refrigerator overnight uncovered before reducing to let it cool and then skim off the fat easily.
  • After it has reduced taste it and adjust seasoning to taste.
Beautifully finished reduced sauce

The sauce should thinly coat the back of a spoon then you know it’s done.

  • Cut the brisket when it is cold. This makes slicing easy and the meat won’t fall apart.
  • Place cut brisket in the pan, add some sauce cover with foil and place in preheated 350º oven to reheat about 20 to 30 mins.
  • Your brisket is now ready to serve.
Cooked Brisket
Finished succulent brisket with sauce

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