Photo by Lisa Thompson
Some families use an entire bottle of ketchup and others swear a certain sugary soft drink is the key to a tender, flavorful brisket. Either way, a long cook time and generous layer of fat, make this historically kosher cut of meat a sure-fire holiday favorite. This recipe keeps it simple with just a hint of sweet acidity from ketchup and handful of aromatic herbs and spices (some of which nod to the rub for its cured counterpart found in delis). There will be plenty leftover, so be sure to check out this brisket hash recipe to make later in the week when the flavors from the slow braise have intensified further.
- 4 1/ 2 -5 pound beef brisket, untrimmed (also referred to as "first cut")
- 2-3 medium onions, sliced 1/4 inch thin
- 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/ 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/ 4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/ 2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/ 4 cup ketchup
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves, scored lightly with a paring knife
- 4-6 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Add spices to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season brisket all over and let rest 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Sear brisket until golden brown on all sides (about 12-15 minutes), then transfer to a plate.
Add onions and carrots and sauté 5-7 minutes until softened. Season with salt to taste. Add tomato paste and cook stirring often until lightly caramelized (about 5 minutes).
Add the apple cider vinegar, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Cook for 1 minute.
Add ketchup, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and 6 cups chicken stock and stir to deglaze. Return the brisket to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 hour, then reduce heat to 325ºF. Cook for another 1½-2 hours, until tender, checking occasionally (if liquid evaporates too quickly, add more stock ¼ cup at a time to make sure brisket is ⅔ of the way covered).
Let cool completely and skim off some of the fat from the surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme. Remove garlic from the pot and reserve for another use (like spreading on matzo or stirring into salad dressing). Slice brisket (against the grain) into ½ inch thick slices and return to pot, making sure the meat is fully submerged. (This can be done 1 day in advance for the sauce to further permeate the meat and to develop a greater flavor).
Reheat brisket in the sauce, then arrange slices on a platter. Serve with remaining sauce spooned overtop.