Braising Brisket – Perfect for Fall and Rosh Hashanah

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This post includes my mom’s tried and true sweet and sour Jewish brisket recipe that was/is our family flagship. For Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Passover – it’s what we always would eat for a main course.

To be honest, I was not really looking forward to fall – colder weather, school carpools and homework, waning daylight – and then I remembered how much I love braising. Braising is a cooking method that involves long slow cooking of various kinds of meats in some type of liquid. If you love your slow cooker, you will love braising. And braising goes with fall just like big pots of steamy chicken soup do.

Braising Brisket

Brisket is ready to eat, or refrigerate, or freeze!

The other aspect of fall I love is celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, with friends and family. Each year, we have a large gathering at our home (remember The Battle of the Blintz?) to ring in a sweet new year. Usually, my mother prepares the brisket, but this year, I stepped in to help and to learn. You see, my mother makes the best Jewish brisket recipe. I continue to try other recipes, but her platter is always empty first. It’s the pinnacle of brisket-making that we all strive for, but generally fall a little short.

Since I am determined to not let my mother’s recipes remain undocumented, as my grandmother’s were, I am sharing her braised brisket recipe here and have also decided to start a recipe book just for our Rosh Hashanah gathering – pulling together all the mouth-watering recipes of the food contributed each year. I am doing the same for Passover but here on my blog – be sure to check out my complete guide to Passover recipes for your seder meal.

As for the origin of my mother’s braised Jewish brisket recipe – she thinks (not 100% sure) that she got it from her sister Trudy who was an excellent savory cook. Everyone wanted to be invited to her holiday gatherings – especially for Hannukah and her crispy potato latkes, served with brisket, of course.

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Sandy’s Sweet and Sour Brisket

Course Main Course
Cuisine Jewish Holiday Cooking
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Beth Lee


  • 12 oz bottle of beer - heavy dark beer is best but any will do
  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce canned or homemade
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 4-5 lb brisket
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or a higher heat-point oil like grapeseed
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • optional baby carrots or sliced carrots of your choosing
  • optional red potatoes cut into even size pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine beer, catsup, and cranberry sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or roasting pan on medium high heat. Salt and pepper the brisket and brown it on both sides in the dutch oven - about 5 minutes per side. Remove brisket, turn heat down to medium and add sliced onions to pan. Brown the onions, stirring frequently for about 5 more minutes. Place brisket on onions, then pour beer mixture over brisket. Bring liquid to a boil, turn stove off, cover the pan tightly with lid or aluminum foil, transfer to oven and cook for 2 hours.
    Braising Brisket
  4. After 2 hours, take brisket out of the oven and place the brisket on a large cutting board. Let it cool down for a few minutes, then slice it against the grain. (crucial to cut against the grain or it will be tough to chew even if it is cooked properly)
    Braising Brisket
  5. If you would like to cook carrots and potatoes with the brisket (yummy!), add them to the pan, then place the sliced brisket back in as well. Cook for about 1 more hour. Size of brisket, type of pan, and oven will all affect the actual cooking time. However, you can’t really over cook it and if you check it with a fork and it is easy to grab a piece of a slice, you know you’re good to go. Also, check the carrots and potatoes if you added them to be sure they are fork tender.
  6. You can now either serve the brisket immediately or let it cool uncovered for about half an hour and refrigerate it to eat up to 2 days later. You can also freeze the brisket for later use.
    Braising Brisket

Recipe Notes

For Rosh Hashanah, serve with a green salad or green vegetable, a luscious kugel, and some sliced round challah and you’re off to a sweet and yummy new year!



Have a favorite brisket recipe or braising recipe that puts a smile on your face? – leave a comment and share your story. Shana Tova! (Have a good year)

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14 Responses to Braising Brisket – Perfect for Fall and Rosh Hashanah

  1. Elise September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Sounds delish. I might make this later in the year when we have more people over for dinner as I just got a crock-pot recipe that only uses a 2lb. cut. Thanks.

  2. Michele October 11, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Mmmm, I love brisket. One of he things I love about this time of year is making these big dinners. Time for soups and stews and chilis, yum!

    This looks delish!

  3. rebecca September 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    looks awesome great sauce and so nice to save recipes, hugs

    • omgyummy October 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Hugs back – hope you are getting a little rest in between newborn feedings!

  4. Leah September 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of a sweet and savory brisket. Will need to try this one soon.

    • omgyummy October 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      It’s really a nice flavor for ringing in a sweet New Year!

  5. Anneliesz September 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Yum, yum, yum. Brisket is already on the menu this week at our house. I might have to try this recipe!

    • omgyummy October 3, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      It’s wonderful and easy. I’ve been experimenting with another tsimmes-style recipe with dried fruits that husband likes even better! Let me know how your’s turned out.

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