First things first–we’re not Jewish, so I’m not trying to pretend I’m some sort of expert on Passover meals. But as a Christian, sharing a good portion of our scriptures with them, I am a fan of Jewish traditions. For similar reasons, and because of the importance of the Passover tradition in the Easter story (the Last Supper was either a Passover meal or preparation for Passover, depending on who you ask), Colleen’s father started teaching the rituals of the Seder for their church years ago, and has purchased all the place settings and items to go along with it. Last year, we asked him to conduct a Seder for our Sunday School class at Rose Drive Friends Church, and we turned it into a potluck, with each family bringing items from a traditional Passover dinner.
As a fan of meat, and having had mixed success with smoked brisket in the past, I immediately volunteered to do a brisket as a main course, figuring I’d find a recipe somewhere. Colleen put a shout out to some of our Jewish friends on Facebook and elsewhere for some of their family recipes, but while we did get good recipes for Charoset and Matzoh Ball Soup, we didn’t get anything for brisket.
I’ve always heard that Passover brisket (well, all brisket, actually) can be tough and bland and fatty, and I am way too proud to bring a tough, bland, and fatty piece of meat to a potluck, so I turned to everyone’s favorite Jewish chef, Emeril Lagasse, and his “Passover Brisket” recipe.
Okay, maybe he’s not Jewish, either. But we’ve almost never gone wrong with an Emeril recipe, and I was confident that while it might still be tough or fatty, it definitely wouldn’t be bland. And in doing my research, I found many comments and blogs referencing serving this brisket at legit Seders at legit Jewish homes, so I don’t think I cheated too much by using his recipe.
In the end, it was great! It turned out tender and tasty, and not only was it great for Passover, but it was probably the best non-bbq/smoked style brisket we’d ever had. With briskets running anywhere from 5-10 pounds, I can highly recommend this brisket if you need to feed a crowd for any occasion.
- 1 8 to 10 pound brisket (I used two 6 pound flat cut briskets)
- Garlic cloves, slivered (I used two bulbs worth, I think)
- Beef stock, low sodium (I used 1.5 quarts for each brisket)
- 3 Lg onions, sliced
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tsp salt
- 2 Tsp Emeril’s Original Essence or other similar seasoning (Cajun/Creole, etc)
- 1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tsp onion powder
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Cup ketchup
- 1 Cup chili sauce
- 1 Cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Trim fat cap off brisket.
- Poke holes in brisket with paring knife, insert garlic slivers on both sides.
- Put brisket in baking dish/pan, bake until browned on top (about 30 minutes).
- Flip brisket over in dish/pan, bake until browned on that side (15-30 minutes).
- Reduce heat to 350.
- Add beef stock to come up 1 inch in dish/pan.
- Cover with foil and bake one hour.
- While brisket is baking, saute onions in oil until caramelized (20-30 minutes).
- Combine remaining ingredients (salt through sugar) in a bowl and mix.
- Remove brisket from oven and top with caramelized onions and sauce.
- Cover again and bake until tender–2-3 hours.
- Remove brisket and slice.
- Place in serving dish and pour reserved pan juices over brisket.
- NOTE: Some believe it is better if cooked the night before and then re-heated for the meal the next day.