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Miriam’s Melt-in-Your-Mouth Rosh Hashanah Brisket

Miriam’s Melt-in-Your-Mouth Rosh Hashanah Brisket


Somehow, brisket has become standard Rosh Hashanah fare across North America, so I would be remiss not to share my recipe as well as a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

I’m no meat maven, but I’m learning, and the two most important things to consider when cooking brisket are:

  1. Let the meat shine. Often people drown brisket in all kinds of bottled sauces, but I suggest saving that for cheaper cuts. Use spices, herbs and milder liquids to enhance the flavor of the brisket.
  2. Patience, patience, patience! Cook the meat on a low temperature for a long time. Don’t try to rush it, or you’ll end up with hard, dry, chewy meat—not the pleasant, melt-in-your-mouth texture you were hoping for.

Now, on to specifics. Cut the onions in rounds, and put them on the bottom of a baking dish. Mix the paprika, garlic powder, chives and salt in a small bowl. Pat the spice rub all over both sides of the meat, until it can hold no more. Now put the brisket on top of the onions and into the oven at 400° F for 1 hour, uncovered.

Take it out and turn the oven down to 250° F. Pour ½ cup balsamic vinegar and ⅓ cup honey over the meat. It may look like not a lot of liquid, but the meat and onions both let out lots of juices, and you end up with plenty (as you can see in the pictures). Cover the pan tightly with foil and return to the oven. Cook for another 4 hours, until meat is fork tender—meaning a fork goes in with almost no resistance. Approximately once an hour take it out and turn the meat, so both sides get equally moist. (If you’re busy, you can skip the turning; just make sure to turn it once, about halfway through.) Cooking time will vary, depending on the size and thickness of your brisket, so make sure to use the fork test.

Once it’s ready, refrigerate the meat overnight, then remove from the sauce and cut into thin slices, against the grain. Return slices to the sauce and reheat in the oven or over a low flame on the stovetop when ready to serve. Freezes well. Serve with the sauce and onions.


  • 3 lb. first-cut brisket
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. dried chives (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup honey


  1. Slice the onions in rounds. Place them in the bottom of a baking dish.
  2. Combine the paprika, garlic powder, chives and salt in a small bowl. Cover the brisket with the spice mixture. Pat it in gently until the meat can hold no more.
  3. Place the meat on top of the onions and put it into the oven at 400° F for 1 hour.
  4. Take the meat out, add the balsamic vinegar and honey, and cover the baking dish tightly. Lower the temperature to 250° F and cook for another 4 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
  5. Refrigerate the meat until completely cold (preferably overnight), then cut in thin slices against the grain. Return the sliced meat to the sauce. Reheat in the oven, or over a low flame. Serve with the onions and sauce.

Yields: Approximately 40 thin slices.

Do you eat brisket on Rosh Hashanah? How do you cook it? Any special family recipes?

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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cK Toronto, Canada June 24, 2017

Made the recipe for the first time Rosh Hashanah 2016 - Most received compliments ever received for Brisket - Now a Family favourite! Thank You ... Reply

suzy handler woodland hills, ca January 3, 2017

You're invited to my house but do bring the delicious brisket! Reply

Min K January 2, 2017

For reheating, I added a can of beef stock to cover. That way it ended up not just fork tender but falling apart - just the way I like it and not overcooked. Next time I'll add the stock for cooking, just to make it easier to skim off the fat (which stuck to the meat this time). Best brisket I ever cooked! Reply

Miriam Szokovski October 27, 2016

apple cider vinegar I wouldn't use apple cider vinegar, it has a very different taste from balsamic, but if you tried it, let me know how it came out. Reply

Miriam Szokovski October 27, 2016

crock-pot Thanks Ariela. That sounds about a right. I haven't done it in the crockpot, but as long as it's on low for a long time, it should be good. Reply

Nicole October 21, 2016

Apple Cider vinegar vs balsamic vinegar Is apple cider vinegar okay as a substitute? I am having trouble finding kosher balsamic vinegar right now! Reply

Naomi Lieberman Phoenix, AZ October 9, 2016

Genevieve Lieberman, my mother-in-law, always made brisket with a whole can of beer and a large chopped onion covered tightly in foil. She cooked it at 325 until fork tender and as her mother always said: "Everybody loved it!" Reply

ariela europe October 7, 2016

Crockpot - ANswer to Rebecca hmmm.. this looks delicious!!!!

I make mine in the Crock pot- 2 hours on high and 4 hours on low. takes forever but it is soooo woth it.
Thank you for the amazing recipe Miriam, I also add fresh garlic and sometoimes I caramelize the onions with applecubes (for rosh hashana). Reply

Miriam Szokovski October 6, 2016

hot or cold Hi Will,

On holidays, food can be warmed up in specific ways. You can read more about it here: Reply

Will J San Jose, Ca October 3, 2016

But, this would be served cold on rosh hashanah day because it's a sabbath, right? Reply

Tom DiSarlo Ambler October 3, 2016

I forgot to add... L'shana tovah, Miriam! Reply

Tom DiSarlo Ambler October 3, 2016

Looks so tasty - I'm kvelling Even though I'm one of the Christian mischegoyyim, this looks so good I could almost convert! Can't wait to surprise my wife with this one someday very soon when she returns from work. Thanks! Reply

KalvinSingh Clayhall, London via October 2, 2016

Happy Rosh Hasanaha Happy New Year to my Jewish Friends. From your Sikh freind, Clayhall, London. Reply

Keith Connecticut October 2, 2016

I used Penzey's Smoked Spanish Paprika, and it's fantastic. Thank you! Reply

Rebecca April 20, 2016

Did you ever cook the brisket in a crock pot? If so, how long, and what setting? How'd it turn out? Thank You! Reply

suzy handler woodland hills, ca December 1, 2015

Did you mention your address, Miriam? I would love to come
and taste your brisket! It melts in my eyes! Reply

Anonymous Walkerville December 1, 2015

Hi there Miriam. Thank you for this. I think the onions is a brilliant idea. I tend to buy the brisket whole with the short rips still part of it on the bottom. They are not usually eaten (very little meat, but I find I then have this wonderful jelly at the bottom (I do use a tiny bit more liquid). When that bony stock is cool I remove all of the fat in chunks (and certainly keep it) then boil down that gelatinous stock somewhat and it's wonderful with the meat - don't know - do you think it sounds okay? It IS a lot of work though. Thank you again. Reply

Miriam Szokovski August 31, 2015

wine You could use wine but it will not taste the same. Reply

Miriam Szokovski August 31, 2015

for 6 pounds for 6 pounds I would probably do 1 1/2 times the recipe, but definitely increase the cooking time. Reply

Ava New York August 29, 2015

Miriam's brisket If I double the meat to 6 pounds, would I still have to double the sauce? I have doubled sauce in other recipes and it is often too much and not necessary. Reply

Cook It Kosher features recipes from food blogger Miriam Szokovski, as well as guest bloggers and cookbook authors. Let us know if you’d like to contribute!
Miriam SzokovskiMiriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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