Brisket is a traditional Ashkenazis dish for any big meal, from Rosh Hashanah to Passover, and though it’s considered a fairly fancy offering for a festive meal, it doesn’t have to be a pain in the tuchis.

Brisket comes from the chest of the cow and it’s very flavorful, but it can be tough and stringy, too. The key to an excellent brisket is to keep the meat covered while it’s cooking, and to give it plenty of liquid to absorb so it doesn’t get too dry.

Good brisket can be made with very little work, requiring only a very large pot with a cover and a good deal of time to cook. Best of all, brisket is often better the day after it has been made, when it has been given time to rest.  This makes it an ideal entree for the second day of a two-day holiday. Once reheated it’s better than ever.

This recipe originally called for sherry, but when a friend brought over a bottle of Farbrengen brand semi-dry red wine as a joke (Farbrengen being the only brand of wine I know of that features pictures of hasidic Jews on the label) I decided to try it in our family’s brisket for Rosh Hashanah. The reviews were excellent, so from now on when I make brisket I’m only using sweet Kiddush wine like Farbrengen or Manischewitz.

Brisket to Make You Go Oooh

5-7 lbs. brisket

Onion salt (optional)
Garlic salt (optional)

1 12-oz bottle chili sauce (we recommend Heinz brand, or something mild)
20 oz Farbrengen, Manischewitz, or other very sweet wine
2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 sliced sweet onion
6 chopped carrots
3 lbs potatoes, quartered
Sprinkle seasonings over meat and rub in lightly. Sear the meat in 500 degree oven for 10 minutes on each side. Combine liquids and vegetables, pour over meat, cover, and cook at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Freezes well.

Tamar Fox

Tamar Fox is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia with her partner, step-daughter, and foster daughter. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet, Lilith, and many others. Her children's book, No Baths at Camp, was published in 2013 by Kar-Ben and is a PJ Library selection.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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