Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Brisket

Apparently we have started a new Christmas tradition where I am responsible for cooking the Christmas brisket.  Lucky for all of us, my family is very willing to be experimented on... even for Christmas dinner!    I have also been very lucky that the Christmas brisket has turned out well two years running.  Whoohoo!

Hopefully the streak will hold. ;)

This brisket recipe is based from a Hungarian Jewish brisket I found here.  I have no idea how the original will turn out - as I changed it from the get go.  But, it sounded really good!

Here is my version.

Paprika and Rosemary Spiced Brisket 

Rub to be done the day before:
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped finely 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4- to 5-pound beef brisket
Ingredients for the day you plan to cook it:
  • 2 tablespoons butter /ghee/bacon fat (or if doing Kosher - then schmaltz or olive oil)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice 
  • 12 medium garlic cloves, crushed and peeled 
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6-inch) branches fresh rosemary 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar 
  • 1 or 2 cups of chicken stock or water - enough to almost cover the meat at the start
The night before, prepare the rub and make sure to thoroughly cover the brisket.  Place in fridge until the next morning.

It takes about 5-6 hrs, so I usually start up pretty early since we have to pack it and take it out to my sister's house for the gathering of the masses.

The big day:
Pre-heat oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. In a large roasting pan or cast iron pan - heat the fat.  Once hot, brown the brisket and then set aside.

Check to make sure you have about a tablespoon or so of fat still in the pan.  Add the onions and let it brown just a bit.  Toss in the garlic. Wait a second or two.

Lower the heat so that the tomatoes don't burn.  Put in the tomatoes (paste and diced) and cook it down a bit.  About 5 min.

Add rosemary, bay leaf, vinegar, and water/stock and stir to incorporate.  

Add brisket.  Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and place into the oven.  Every few hours, pull out of the oven and flip the meat over.  Cook until tender - approximately 5 to 6 hrs. 

Pull out the brisket and cover to keep warm.  On high heat, reduce any liquid you have left until you have a nice thick sauce.  


  1. very tasty. i can't believe we didn't snap a photo.

  2. yum. Do you know if the brisket was grass fed / pasture raised?

    Sounds delicious.

  3. but of course! Grass fed and finished - from Wallace.

  4. Did you do brisket again this past Christmas?

    1. No, I had deserts this past year. I did make the christmas brisket off season. A few months ago.