- 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt or Cavender’s Greek seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- One 4 ½ to 5 ½-pound boneless beef brisket, trimmed, with some fat left on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 1 bottle (12 oz) tomato chili sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brewed strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup dry red wine
Adapted from Matzoh Ball Gumbo
Gerry Barkovitz, Hayti, Missouri and Huddy Horowitz Cohen, Blytheville, Arkansas
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a cup, mix the seasoned salt or Greek seasoning, pepper, and kosher salt. Sprinkle over both sides of the brisket.
Put the oil in a large heavy roasting pan and place over 2 burners. (If your roasting pan isn’t heavy, use a large heavy skillet.) Heat over medium-high heat. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook until browned on the underside, about 5 minutes. Turn the brisket, sprinkle in the celery and ⅓ of the onion, pushing the vegetables down around the brisket. Cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until the brisket is browned on the second side, and the vegetables are golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
If you’ve used a skillet for browning, transfer the brisket to a roasting pan. Otherwise, remove brisket from the heat.
In a medium bowl, mix the chili sauce, ketchup, coffee, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining chopped onions. Pour over the brisket, mixing it with the pan juices and browned vegetables.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. After first hour, pour the wine into the pan. Cover and bake until the brisket is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 ½ to 3 hours longer. REMEMBER to add carrots and potatoes, if you choose, during the last 45 minutes to one hour of cooking.
To serve right away, transfer the brisket to a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain. Arrange on a warmed platter. Skim the fat from the sauce and transfer to a gravy boat, spooning a little over the meat. Or pack unsliced meat and sauce in separate containers and refrigerate 1 to 3 days. Mom says it is ALWAYS better the second day.
To serve, slice the brisket as directed. Place in a large baking dish. Remove any fat from the sauce and spoon over the brisket. Cover with foil and heat at 350° until hot and bubbly.
Makes 8 generous servings.
About this recipe
Marcie Cohen Ferris is associate director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and assistant professor of American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. She is the author of Matzoh Ball Gumbo and The Edible South, both worth your read. A fellow Southern Foodways Alliance member, she always has some interesting takes on what it means to be both southern and Jewish
“This was our favorite Hanukkah entree prepared by the Sisterhood at Temple Israel, in Blytheville, Arkansas, always served with potato latkes. We often enjoyed it at home for Sabbath meals. Now when I make brisket, I like to add vegetables. During the last 45 minutes to one hour of cooking, stir 4 or 5 large carrots, thinly sliced, and 1 ½ pounds small thin-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered into the pan juices along with ½ cup water. Cover and continue cooking about 1 hour, or until everything is meltingly tender.”