• Hanukkah Brisket


I can feed an army with this beef brisket.

By Andrew Zimmern

It’s that time of year. The meat freezes well when cooked and bagged with the vegetables and liquid so even a small family can make this recipe. I like a whole brisket because you want the fatty nose of the wide end to help keep the roast moist. Also, because I like to roast whole briskets, what can I say? Serve this with plenty of potato pancakes.

Hanukkah Brisket

Servings: 10 to 12

Total: 8 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • One 10-pound whole beef brisket
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 8 medium onions (3 pounds) sliced
  • 2 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup Banyuls vinegar or aged red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 fennel bulbs, each cut through the core into 1 1/2-inch wedges


In a bowl, whisk the thyme with the paprika, sage, ground pepper and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large flameproof roasting pan set over 2 burners, heat the oil. Add the brisket to the roasting pan and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a large baking sheet.

Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt to the roasting pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and well browned, about 20 minutes. Add the beef stock, vinegar, tomato puree, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Return the brisket to the roasting pan, then nestle the fennel in the braising liquid around it.

Tent the brisket with foil and bake for about 6 hours and 30 minutes, until very tender. Transfer the brisket to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Skim the fat off the braising liquid and discard the bay leaf. Carve the brisket and transfer to a platter. Serve with the pan juices and vegetables.

MAKE AHEAD The cooked brisket and vegetables can be refrigerated in the braising liquid overnight. Reheat gently before serving.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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