Judy’s Best Brisket

This recipe was adapted by me from my Aunt Florence’s brisket recipe.  I loved brisket growing up.  Although I liked my mother’s brisket a lot, it didn’t hold a candle to my Aunt Florence’s, which I was lucky enough to eat every Passover at her house.  When I saw that platter of brisket arriving at the table, my mouth was watering.  The meat was such a dark brown, rich color, and the flavor of the meat when it hit my tongue was heavenly; there really are no sufficient words to describe how good that brisket tasted to me.  I was always worried there wouldn’t be enough for me.  Luckily, there usually was.  Anyway, I started making this brisket around 1978 right after I got married.  I couldn’t wait to start making my aunt’s amazing brisket.  I followed my Aunt Florence’s recipe, but I did change the cooking method.  She cooked the brisket in a pot for the whole cooking time.  But I decided to start the cooking on the stove, and then transfer the pot into the oven for a few hours.  This method resulted in the brisket having the same incredible dark brown color and rich taste, but the meat was much more tender.  My brisket became the talk of the family.  I had achieved great heights in cooking when I mastered my aunt’s incomparable brisket!

  • About 5 pounds brisket, first or thin cut- you can use 1 big piece or 2 smaller pieces
  • About 5-6 medium to large onions
  • oil
  • About 2 fat or 4 thin carrots cut into very skinny sticks
  • Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • about 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • water

Season both sides of the meat pretty heavily with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Chop onions pretty finely by hand.  Put about 2 T safflower oil or other neutral oil on bottom of large dutch over.  Put the onions on the bottom of a large dutch oven or very large oven-proof pot.  Then, slice the carrots into very thin sticks and put them  onto the top of the onions in the dutch oven. Sautés till onions are just starting to brown.  Place the seasoned meat on top of the onions and carrots fat side down. Pour about 1 cup of cold water around the meat.  Cover the dutch oven.  Put the heat on medium, and bring the water to a boil.  Cook on a high simmer about 15 minutes with the cover on.  Then take the cover off and cook on high heat until all the liquid evaporates.  The onions and carrots and meat will start to brown.  Lift the meat up with a strong metal spatula and mush the vegetables around.  Turn the meat and brown on other side- about 5 min.  If all the water has evaporated, add another cup. You are looking for the gravy that’s there to be medium brown.  Flip the meat again so it is fat side up.Then take about 2 Tbls tomato paste, and schmear it on top of the meat. Cover the dutch oven, put it into a 325 degree oven, and cook it for about 2 hrs. Take it out, and add more water if water has evaporated. If there is enough liquid in pot, cover it again, a dn cook for another hr. Check meat. If fork goes in very easily, it is done. Usually, I have to cook the meat for another 30 min. or so. Take meat out of pot, place on a plate, refrigerate . Once meat is cold, it is much easier to slice. I use a sharp chef’s knife. Put sliced meat back into the pot, or pour all your gravy in an aluminum tin. Place meat on top of gravy, and refrigerate or freeze.

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