Pesach BBQ Brisket

This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s so good, so unexpected and works well for a family dinner, kids lunch or Shabbat. It’s a great recipe to get the flavors of BBQ even if you live in a small apartment or it’s the dead of winter.

You must have patience for this recipe, as it needs to cook for at least eight hours, but that patience will pay off. Just be careful to make more than you think you’ll need, because once your guests taste this they’ll be going back for more and more.

What you Need:

  • 1 grass-fed  Brisket or Deckel
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Touch of Cinnamon
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup of wine 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 sweet onions
  • Olive oil

For the BBQ Sauce:

  • 12oz organic tomato paste
  • 10oz apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves (assuming your minhag allows)
  • Touch of red wine
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, Oregano to taste

What you do:

For the sauce, simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a pot. If you want to kick it up with some spicy heat, add a bit of smoked chipotle peppers.

First, lightly cover the brisket with some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Then lightly dust it with the paprika, cinnamon, garlic and brown sugar to your tastes. 

Then sear in a hot pan with a light coating of olive oil. While the brisket is searing, slice one of the onions into thick slices, about a ¼ to ½ inch thick. Place those on the bottom of your roasting pan with a light coating of olive oil. 

Set your oven to 250 degrees. Then pour one cup of water and one cup of wine into the roasting pan.

Once the brisket has been seared on both sides (about a minute per side) lay down on top of the onions with the fat side up. Then generously coat the top of the brisket with a thick layer of the BBQ Sauce (recipe below). Next cut the remaining onions into half moons and sauté them until slightly soft. Put them on top of the brisket and sauce. Cover the pan, put it in the oven (center rack) and then walk away for about eight hours.

OK, I know what’s really going to happen. You’re going to smell the aroma and be tempted to check on it. Go ahead, you have my permission, you can even add more sauce if you want. BUT . . . please don’t panic if you see that the brisket is not pulling apart. It will, you just have to be patient. It usually takes eight to ten hours of cooking before it really starts to pull apart.

Now here’s the sauce recipe . . . combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend well for about thirty seconds. Now you’re done. That was easy. However, you should taste it. If it’s not quite sweet enough or spiced enough for you, adjust to your taste. Please remember though that you will not be eating this sauce by itself, it will combine with the fats, juices and strong flavors of the meat. The sugars will also caramelize while cooking, so it will just get better. I put the left over sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle and use it on burgers, fries, roasts etc.

So now the big moment has arrived. You take the brisket out. Put it on your cutting board and it just starts to fall apart. You’ve tasted it and done that Food TV “Oh this is so delicious” face. Now let’s serve it. All you have to do is slice against the grain. If I’m using a whole brisket, I like to separate the first cut from the second cut before slicing. That way I can save some of the juicy second cut for myself. :-)

I like to warm some matzah, with some rosemary oil on top of it. Put that on the plate and pile the brisket on top. Don’t forget to take some of the sauce and onions from the pan and put it on top. Then gently squeeze a tad more of the BBQ Sauce on top from the squeeze bottle.

To give it a more upscale presentation, serve on fine china with grilled carrots or asparagus, roast herbed potato straws and some arugula with a tomato bruschette.

This recipe has become a great “go to” recipe for my family, especially for Pesach and Shabbat. My kids love it; my guests love it and so do we. After all . . . what’s not to love?

L’Chaim . . . Avi

Copyright 2021 Avi Levy – Avi’s Kosher Kitchen – Bar Shabatai Productions

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