Braised Beef Brisket for Passover

This recipe for beef brisket first appeared in the now-defunct Gourmet magazine years ago, and having made it many times for Passover, I’ve adapted it by adding wine to the braise, which heightens the flavor of the caramelized onion gravy. Cook the brisket the day before, and then reheat the sliced beef in the gravy.


  • 1 5-to-6 pound first-cut beef brisket
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian or sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bottle dry red wine


1.   Preheat oven to 375°F. Pat the brisket dry, then liberally season with Kosher salt and pepper. Transfer brisket to a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed casserole, and roast, uncovered, 30 minutes.

2.   Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high, and add the onions, stirring continuously until golden, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat, and cook slowly another 20 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Pour in the bottle of red wine, and increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes.

3.   Pour the onions over the brisket, spooning the onions to completely cover the meat. Cover the brisket with a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the Dutch oven, then cover with the pot’s lid and braise 3-½ hours or until tender. Check the brisket every 30 minutes, and add more water if too much evaporates.

4.  Take the brisket out of the oven and allow to cool completely. Transfer the brisket to a large, doubled piece of aluminum foil, and spoon the onions on top. Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Transfer the braising liquid to container and refrigerate.

5.  The next day, spoon the fat that has congealed on the top of the braising liquid, and transfer to a large pot. Scrape the onions off the brisket and add to the pot. Bring the gravy to a simmer, and using an immersion blender, blend the gravy until smooth. (Alternatively, before heating the gravy, puree in a blender, and then transfer to the pot and heat.)

6.   Slice the brisket against the grain and add the slices to the gravy. Heat gently 20 minutes and serve with fresh beet horseradish.