The best Jewish beef brisket may be a personal thing that varies by family but let me tell you, I 100% feel that this is the most flavorful, tender and amazing beef brisket recipe there is.
Jewish beef brisket is a very serious dish for Jewish families and it is made with love and care and lots of pride at each holiday and for family gatherings. I like to say it is similar to Italians with the pride they take in their all day red sauces.
These are always the best dishes to make in my opinion! Dishes that are celebratory, traditional and full of pride.
Now I am not Jewish but Italian so you may be wondering why am I writing a recipe about Jewish brisket. This is a fair question so let me explain.
Growing up in South Florida, there is a large Jewish population among other groups of people and cultures that I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed. This recipe was given to my mother from a wonderful Jewish family (friends of my Mom) and she has been cooking this ever since.
Over the years and once I was older and started my own family, this recipe was taught to me as well. I have been making it for years now and it is the ONLY brisket recipe I use.
Food is about friends, family and enjoyment and this recipe I am proud to call part of our family tradition.
Jewish brisket with or without tomatoes and onions:
Traditionally, Jewish brisket made at the Jewish holidays has a sauce that is part of the brisket, usually tomato based sauce made with tomatoes and the juices of the meat with a little stock added.
The other difference in this recipe from more traditional recipes is that it does not have onions. You can add a few cups of sliced white onions to the bottom of your roasting pan if you like this part but this recipe is so full of flavor without it that I promise you it will not be missed.
It is all about your preference!
This brisket recipe does not have tomatoes and does not need it. In fact, the flavors from all of the garlic and paprika are so amazing that I could not even imagine trying to change that at all.
Every family has their own recipe for brisket and not all Jewish brisket recipes will have tomatoes. This one, once you try it, you will understand that the juices and flavors are perfect! It makes its own beautiful sauce from the meat juices and spices.
Slow Cooker versus the Oven:
Brisket is traditionally slow cooked in the oven with some aluminum foil covering the top for most of the cooking process. The slow cooking in the oven gives a nice crust on the final product and it really tastes amazing.
You can however use the slow cooker too. The key to doing this is to make sure you get a nice initial sear on the meat before adding it in to your slow cooker. I have also added steps to deglazing the pan and incorporating that into the slow cooker so you do not loose any flavor from the pan.
Both are great options and I have used both methods and can say they are both amazing.
I have included steps for doing both in the recipe below so you can choose what method you think is best for you.
The steps to making the Brisket:
First, you want to make your spice rub. This is the flavor of your brisket and the best part. It involves lots of garlic, salt and paprika.
The next step is to get the spice rub well coated all over the brisket. None of it will go to waste.
After you have coated your meat well in the spices, you sear it in a hot pan making sure to get every side of the meat.
After searing, you transfer your meat either to the slow cooker or a roasting pan, depending on what method you want to use. Then deglaze the pan that you seared the meat in to make sure you pick up all of that flavor left behind in the pan.
Next you pour that all over the top of you meat and cook for a few hours until the meat starts to get tender. After this time you then add your vegetables to the meat and allow them to cook in the pan juices for about another hour.
When you do this, make sure to coat the vegetables in the juices in the pan so they pick up all that delicious flavor. This makes the best tasting veggies!
That is it! The whole process will take about 4 hours or so depending on the size of your brisket. It is a labor of love and so absolutely worth it.
For some great side dish ideas to go with the brisket, you may like:
The Best Jewish Beef Brisket
- slow cooker or roasting pan
- 4-5 lbs brisket trimmed of fat
- 6 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 lbs baby potatoes (red or gold) cut into halves and making sure they are all equal sizes
- 8 cloves garlic diced finely
- 1 cup water plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- Grab a large bowl and add your diced garlic, salt and paprika.
- Crush down the garlic into the paprika and salt mixture to release the juices from the garlic.
- Pre-heat a heavy bottom pan over the stove on high heat.
- Now grab your brisket and trim off any excess fat. Some fat is fine.
- Take your brisket and press it into your spice mixture making sure to coat the whole brisket well. You may have to pick up some of the spice mixture and press it on to the meat.
- Once your pot is pre-heated, add your olive oil.
- Now add your brisket and sear all sides well. If you have any remaining spice mixture that fell off the meat then make sure to throw that into the pot too. You want all of the spice mixture in your pan.
- Once you have seared all sides of the meat, remove from the pan and place on a large plate and set aside.
- Add a little water (about 1/2 cup) to your pan to deglaze it. Let it bubble up and scrape down any brown bits from the bottom.
If you are using the slow cooker
- Add your seared brisket to the slow cooker.
- Pour the liquid from deglazing over top of your brisket. You should have enough liquid to come up about 1/2 inch up the side of your pan. If you do not, add more water until it does.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to low.
- Cook for 3-4 hours or until the brisket is almost falling apart.
- Now add your potatoes and carrots and coat them with the juices in the pot.
- Cook for another hour.
- Once the brisket is falling apart and tender and the vegetables are cooked, taste for seasoning.
If you are using the oven
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Add your seared brisket to a roasting pan.
- Pour the liquid from deglazing over top of your brisket.
- Top your brisket with aluminum foil and bake for 3 hours, making sure to baste the brisket every 45 minutes.
- After 3 hours, add your potatoes and carrots to the brisket and coat them well with the juices from the pan.
- Cover and cook for another hour.
- After an hour, with a fork, check to see if the brisket is ready by poking it. If it slightly falls apart it is ready. Pierce the potatoes and carrots as well to check for doneness.
- Grab a large platter and gently lift out your brisket and place it in the center of the platter.
- Now scoop out your potatoes and carrots and place along the sides of the brisket.
- Scoop out some of the pan juices from the pan and pour over the brisket and potatoes.
- Serve immediately.