Jewish Beef Brisket for Passover (from an actual Jew!)

There’s nothing weird here. This looks like brisket, tastes like brisket, and is brisket. Think of me when you’re making sandwiches out of the leftovers. 😎

The instructions are very detailed and will work even for first-time brisket cooks! You won’t find find fruit, ketchup, coca-cola, or other weirdness here.

It’s just like your mother made. And your grandmother. And your great-grandmother.

7 Pounds (approx) Beef Brisket
5 Pounds Yellow Onions, peeled, cut into ping-pong ball sized chunks
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Carrots, chopped (optional)
2 Stalks Celery, with leaves
1 Pound Mushrooms (your choice)
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Powdered or Granulated Garlic
1 Teaspoon Paprika
6 Ounces Tomato Paste
6 Ounces Water
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch (optional)


  • Rinse the brisket under cold water and pat dry with paper towels
  • Mix the salt, pepper, garlic and paprika together
  • Lay the brisket fat side down and coat with the spice mixture.
  • Flip it over and coat the fat-side with the spice mixture, and the minced garlic, then rub on the tomato paste
  • Put all the vegetables in the roasting pan, along with the water and bay leaves.
  • Place brisket in the roasting pan, fat side up and cover.
  • Same day cooking: Place in the oven and cook for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender (around 185°-190°).
    If you want tender brisket, use a thermometer! If you want dry or tough, it’s OK to guess.
  • Every half hour or so, spoon the liquid and onions over the top to keep it moist. If there’s too much liquid towards the end of cooking, leave the lid off for a while and let it reduce.
  • Overnight cooking: Set oven to 250°F.  Place the roasting pan on stove-top and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven and cook overnight, until the meat is very tender (around 185°-190°).
  • When Done: Remove from oven and place the brisket (just the meat) in a glass dish.
  • Remove the onions and place in a small bowl. Find, remove and discard the bay leaves!
  • Put the pan across two stove burners and heat on medium high. Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon, then pour all the liquid and all the bits into another bowl.
  • Cover all the containers and refrigerate everything overnight.

  • The next day:
  • If this is a whole brisket (point and flat cut ~10 pounds), separate the two sections at the seam, so you have two pieces of meat.
  • Using a very sharp knife, remove all the visible fat  (or as much as you would like) from the outside of the brisket and using a very sharp knife or an electric knife, slice into pieces 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick, across the grain. This is very important. Cutting across the grain makes it fall-apart tender. Cutting with the grain makes beef jerky.
  • Return sliced brisket to the (clean, washed roasting pan and cover with the onions.
  • Remove all the solidified fat from the top of the drippings and discard or save for other uses. Pour some drippings over the onions to keep the brisket moist. Cover and place in a 350° oven for about an hour to reheat.
  • Now it’s time to make the gravy!
  • Making Gravy:
  • Place the drippings into a pan and warm, but do not boil. Warming the gravy makes it thin enough to strain in the next step. Please note that these drippings have been sitting in the refrigerator all night and you just removed the fat in the previous step. If you didn’t do that, you’ll have a greasy mess, not gravy.
  • Mix the corn starch with a couple of tablespoons of cold water, until smooth.
  • Strain the drippings and mash as many of the brown bits as possible though the strainer, into the pan, heat on medium.
  • Whisk in Corn Starch/water mixture. Bring to a low boil, while continually whisking and simmer for 2 minutes. (the corn starch won’t fully thicken unless it comes to a boil)
  • Place in gravy boat or dish for serving. If it’s too thick, you can whisk in a little hot water.

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