Jim Cohen's Sephardic Brisket Recipe

Jim Cohen's Sephardic Brisket Recipe
  • Yield:8


  • 2 dried pasilla chiles
  • 1 4-pound brisket
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup organce juice
  • 4 cups chicken or beef stock or water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 tea bags of strong black tea
  • 2 cups dried pitted prunes
  • 2 cups dried apricots


  1. 1.

    Soak the pepper in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Seed, remove the stems, and chop into tiny pieces.

  2. 2.

    Season the brisket with the salt and pepper and dredge with flour. heat the olive oil in a large heavy roasting pan and bronw the brisket on all sides. Remove from the pan.

  3. 3.

    Preheat the oven to 400˚F

  4. 4.

    In the same pan, over medium heat, sauté the onions and ginger until the onions are transparent. Add the pepper and deglaze with the orange juice. Reduce for a few minutes. Add the brisket and enough stock or water to cover. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cook, uncovered, until the brisket is tender, about 3 hours, turning at 30-minute intervals. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Puree the sauce in a food processor or blender.

  5. 5.

    Cool and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Remove the congealed fat that floats on the top of the liquid.

  6. 6.

    About 30 minutes before serving, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Steep the tea bags in the water to make a strong tea. Discard the tea bags. Put the prunes and apricots in the tea to plump for about half an hour. Then drain them. Reheat with the brisket and the plumped fruit. Serve with saffron rice, mashed potatoes, or couscous.