Braised food

Oven-braised breast with spices and fine herbs

A classic Jewish staple, brisket is slowly cooked for optimal tenderness and flavor. Here, the meat is first coated in a mixture of Hungarian paprika, then slowly cooked with tomatoes, onions and rosemary. The addition of brown sugar and vinegar provides a sweet-salty balance to the deep, meaty flavor. Be sure to pour the sauce over the potatoes.

What to buy: If you are making this dish for Passover, make sure all of your ingredients are kosher for Passover. If you can’t find kosher cider vinegar for Passover, then kosher red wine vinegar for Passover is a good substitute.

Game plan: Cook the brisket the day before serving; the flavors meld after overnight in the fridge.

This dish was featured as part of our Passover Recipes photo gallery.

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 4 hrs 15 mins, plus overnight refrigeration

Ingredients (15)

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 beef brisket (4 to 5 pounds), halved widthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, medium diced
  • 12 medium garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, liquid and pits discarded, tomatoes broken by hand into large chunks
  • 2 (6 inch) sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and place a rack in the middle.
  2. Put the salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl and mix. Rub brisket pieces all over with seasoning mixture; put aside.
  3. Place the oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 piece of beef brisket and cook until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the second piece of meat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium; add the onions, garlic and brown sugar; and sauté until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize, about 12 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onions and cook until the paste no longer tastes raw, about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Return the brisket to the pan, fat side up (it’s OK if the pieces overlap), cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour. Take out of the oven and turn the meat from bottom to top, keeping the fat side up (or nest the pieces side by side if possible). Cover, return pan to oven and braise until brisket is fork tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.
  6. Remove the brisket from the oven, uncover and let cool in the braising liquid until the sauce is just hot, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Heat the oven to 325°F and place a rack in the middle.
  8. Place the breast on a cutting board and cut off the excess fat. Using a spoon, scrape off the hardened layer of fat on the surface of the sauce. Remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf and discard. Slice the brisket against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick pieces and return the slices to the sauce. Cover the pan and place in the oven until the brisket is heated through, about 45 minutes. Serve on a platter with the sauce either on the side or over the meat.