I've spent the last few years trying to find my perfect brisket recipe. I didn't really grow up with one, and quite badly wanted my own brisket tradition. After trying over a dozen recipes, I finally settled on this one: sweet and sour, with pomegranate molasses and dried fruit. It has notes of sweet, savory, and sour, creating a nice complexity.
The dried fruit cooks down to a near paste and caramelizes, adding a lovely depth both to the meat and the sauce. What is key to cooking here is slow, steady, patient heat—you get tender, delicately cooked meat that just melts in your mouth. I also dipped a latke or two in the sauce, and liked it quite a bit.
About the author: Olga Massov writes a popular blog Sassy Radish where she shares food stories and spruced-up comfort foods. Her Russian heritage makes sure she always has room for herring.
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 1 3-inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup cola
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup unfiltered cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup prunes
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 6 pounds first-cut brisket, rinsed and thoroughly dried with paper towels
Preheat oven at 350°F. In food processor or blender process all ingredients except dried fruit and the beef until smooth.
Place brisket fat side up into large heavy-bottomed roasting pan and cover with sauce. Scatter with dried fruit. Cover tightly with foil and cook for 2 hours.
Turn brisket, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook until meat is fork-tender, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and tent with foil for 30 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, place roasting pan over 2 burners and bring sauce to boil. Reduce to desired consistency and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Trim fat from meat (where you can see it), and slice against the grain into desired thickness. Arrange slices on platter. Pour sauce over sliced meat and serve immediately.