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Adeena’s Classic Hanukkah Brisket

SERVES: 8–10 PREP: 45 minutes TOTAL TIME: 12 hours (including chilling and reheating)
Adeena’s Classic Hanukkah Brisket

Adeena’s Classic Hanukkah Brisket

SERVES: 8–10 PREP: 45 minutes TOTAL TIME: 12 hours (including chilling and reheating)

Rich, tomato-y, and meltingly tender, inspired by my late mom's recipe.

This recipe comes from Chrissy's cookbook co-author, Adeena Sussman. She is also the author of Sababa.

Brisket was a special-occasion main course in our family, particularly for Hanukkah. My mom, Steffi, was a great cook, and she really loved shortcuts! She would actually smear her uncooked brisket with tomato paste and put it under the broiler to “sear” it! I use the more traditional method of searing the brisket in the pan to seal in the juices and create a beautiful fond—aka flavorful bits at the bottom—that gets scraped up when you add braising liquid. I went for a really traditional sauce, and I decided not to add wine (even though my mom sometimes did) and it’s wonderful how you can develop such deep flavor without it.

My mom passed away 16 years ago, and I find that I make her brisket now more than ever. COVID really had me leaning in on family recipes, and that was why it was so special to make the brisket for Chrissy, John, family and friends last Hanukkah at their house when we were working on Cravings: All Together. We lit the Hanukkah candles and even dialed in Chrissy‘s dad, Ron, to say the blessings together and to share the light of the holiday. Similar to Thanksgiving dinner, which we made just a week or two before Hanukkah, these special occasions created in our pod really warmed me and reminded me of how special my Jewish traditions are and how fun it is to share them. Even if you are having a small gathering, make the full recipe here, because brisket benefits from a night in the fridge to help the flavors to develop and makes the meat easier to slice. Try it as a sandwich the next day on a potato bun with pickles!

  • 1 (5-pound) brisket, with a good amount of fat

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil

  • 4 medium-large (1 ¼ pounds) carrots, cut into large chunks

  • 1 ¼ pounds (3 medium) onions, sliced

  • 5 large cloves peeled garlic, smashed

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

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