Tangy Spiced Brisket

This Tangy Spiced Brisket is the nearest thing to nirvana as you can get.  It’s heavenly in it’s delicious sauciness and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.  The true test was my guy’s reaction to it (he was previously a brisket-hater)…he couldn’t get enough!  Good enough for brisket sandwiches the next day!!  He is a converted brisket lover!

Brisket is a common main course during Jewish holidays (Passover, Chanukah, Rosh Hashana) and it’s one that I love if cooked properly.  Oftentimes, however, it’s either cloyingly sweet or tough as shoe leather.  It’s not something that I typically would make.

But recently, I was asked if I had a good brisket recipe for a Jewish holiday.  I have an excellent smoked barbecue brisket recipe but that’s best for lazy Sunday dinners versus a Jewish holiday.  After trying a number of recipes and reaching out to my favorite relatives for recipes, I decided this one was the BEST!

What makes it so great, in my humble opinion, is the sauce.  It begins with caramelizing onions along with garlic and spices.  Add those to the top of the brisket that’s in the slow-cooker (greatness #2).

Mix up a sauce of beef stock, ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar, and pour that over the the brisket and onions.

Let the brisket cook on low for 10 hours.  It’s great to make this overnight so that in the morning, you can transfer the brisket and sauce to a baking dish and let it rest in the fridge for the day.  The resting time is important to enhance the flavor and texture of the brisket.

I used a 4-pound brisket instead of the 8-10 pound brisket called for in the recipe which is why my photos show a smaller piece of meat.  You will likely need a larger baking dish if you make the full recipe.  I also should have (but didn’t) cut the sauce ingredients in half.  But, the sauce is so good, having extra to pour over some mashed potatoes is always a good idea!

Once the brisket has rested and chilled, the fat will congeal at the top.  Skim it off as best you can.  Remove the meat from the sauce and slice it into 1/2-inch slices.

For a smoother sauce (I highly recommend this), run the sauce through a blender.

Place the slices back in the baking dish and spoon the sauce all over the meat and reheat at 300°F for 30 minutes or so.  You want the sauce to be bubbling.

You can also make the brisket in the oven.  The instructions are in the recipe but I think the slow-cooker is the way to go!

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Tangy Spiced Brisket

Makes: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 hours

Total Time: 11 hours & 15 minutes plus resting tine


  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne (adjust to your heat preference)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups beef stock (unsalted or low salt)
  • 1 cup ketchup*
  • 1 cup chili sauce* (I’m realizing from comments that there are many many types; I used Heinz, which is not exactly spicy)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 8 to 10 pound brisket


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté onions in vegetable oil, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and most of liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add halved garlic cloves and sauté for 3 minutes more. Stir in spices and seasoning (paprika, salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme) and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the beef stock, ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar. Don’t worry if your brown sugar is lumpy (mine always is), the acidity of the ingredients will quickly break it down.

If baking in oven, preheat oven to 350°F. Place brisket in a baking dish or casserole, spread onion mixture over the top, then pour sauce mixture over the entire dish. Cover tightly with foil bake until very tender but not falling apart, about 3 to 4 hours.

If making in a slow cooker (which I highly, highly recommend), place brisket in a slow cooker, spread onion mixture over the top, then pour sauce mixture over the entire dish. Cover with the lid and cook it on LOW for 10 hours. (I like to start it before I go to bed, and process it in the morning to rest over the course of the day in the fridge.)

For both methods, rest the dish: When the brisket is cooked but still hot, use a spoon to scrape off any large fat deposits adhered to the top and bottom of the brisket. (This part is easiest to do when hot. The sauce will be de-fatted after it has chilled.)

If you’re using a slow cooker, transfer the brisket and all of its sauce to a baking dish. If you’ve baked it in the oven, you can continue in that same dish.

Chill entire dish in the fridge for several hours and up to one day; this resting time will significantly enhance the flavor and texture of the meat.

An hour before you’re ready to serve it, preheat your oven to 300°F, and remove the dish from the fridge. Remove all of the fat that has solidified with a slotted spoon for a less oily finish.

Carefully remove the meat from its sauce and place on a large cutting board. Cut the brisket into 1/2-inch slices.

If you like a smoother sauce (I do) this is a good time to run it through a blender or literally just smash up the onion and garlic strands with a wooden spoon. They’ll be so soft, that’s all it takes.

Carefully place the sliced meat (moving it in large sections with a spatula helps keep it together) back into the sauce and spoon the sauce over the meat. Replace the lid or cover the dish tightly with foil and reheat in the oven until it is bubbling at the edges — this usually takes up to to 30 minutes.

* If you are strictly kosher for Passover, you’ll want to find versions without corn syrup in them.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen


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    Avarage Rating:
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    Total Reviews:( 1 )
    • Harry

      When I saw your brisket Fran, I was getting ready to watch the World Cup final. It looked so good, and I got so hungry, that I raided the fridge. It looks just scrumptious.

      • Francine

        Glad it made you hungry! Try the brisket recipe…I freezes very well!

        • Harry

          I’ll make it over the Holidays fir sure. I love brisket. It looks so good in the pictures. You take excellent photos. Cheers.

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