Richard Blais's Brisket with Coriander, Black Pepper, and Brown Sugar

[Photograph: John Lee]

With Passover right around the corner, it is the perfect time to perfect a roast brisket recipe. For something different than the standard salt, pepper, and go method, look no further than Richard Blais's Brisket with Coriander, Black Pepper and Brown Sugar. Hidden towards the back of his new cookbook, Try This at Home, this brisket is piquant enough to awaken any family member dozing in the middle of an hours-long dinner. Blais takes the fatty end of a brisket and gives it a one-two punch of heavy hitters: pastrami spices and a mustard-brown sugar barbecue rub. Into a low oven it goes for the better part of a day, emerging tender and succulent. Perfect for dinner, and even more perfect for sandwiches the next day.

Why I picked this recipe: Blais's mashup of New York deli flavors and South Carolina mustard sauce was too intriguing to pass up, especially this close to Passover.

What worked: The potent rub permeates the brisket making for a deeply flavorful roast.

What didn't: I did not find it necessary to cook the brisket for 10 hours (feel free to attack in the comments). After 5 hours, my four-pound brisket had hit 205°, and a dull skewer slid in and out with ease. Perfectly tender and moist.

Suggested tweaks: With a whole tablespoon of cayenne in the rub, this brisket isn't exactly for the spice-shy. Back down if you're worried about heat levels. I saved the jus after roasting, degreased it, and then served it alongside the roast at dinner. Warmed leftover jus also works great for reheating leftovers.

Reprinted from Try This at Home: Recipes from my head to your plate by Richard Blais. Copyright 2013. Published by Clarkston Potter. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Richard Blais's Brisket with Coriander, Black Pepper, and Brown Sugar

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 6 to 10
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:10 hours


  • One 3- to 4-pound brisket, fatty end
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar or under a pan
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard


  1. 1

    Rinse the brisket under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season with the coriander, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

  2. 2

    Heat the oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear the brisket, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove it to a platter to cool, covered, about 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Meanwhile, arrange 2 long overlapping sheets of aluminum foil that are large enough to envelop the brisket on a work surface.

  4. 4

    Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and mustard to make a paste. Rub the brisket with the paste and place atop the foil sheets, making sure to get every last bit of the paste. Tightly wrap the brisket in the foil so that no mustard paste can escape.

  5. 5

    Place the brisket on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and cook for 10 hours. A paring knife should pierce the meat with ease. Let cool slightly.

  6. 6

    Unwrap the brisket, slice, and serve with the mashed potatoes. Leftover brisket can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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