Crockpot Sweet and Sour Brisket

Growing up Rosh Hashanah always meant a trip to grandma’s house. Ten kids running around, 8 adults, games, music, naps on the living room floor after temple and of course a whole lot of food.

Grandma always had a spread. Matzah ball soup, brisket, chicken, kasha, roasted vegetables, salads, potatoes. Every year grandma out did herself. Her meals evolved and as the ten of us got older, there seemed to be more and more food (and no leftovers the following day).

As we all got older, got married, moved, had lots of kids, joined different temples, our traditions changed. Grandma now comes to our houses. For a change, we finally get to feed her and she gets to sit back and enjoy as we did when we were children.

Figuring out how grandma made her brisket was always a challenge. If you have ever seen the show “Everyone Loves Raymond” you kind of get the idea of where this is going. She might have given you the recipe but it never tastes the same. I tried for years. Maybe it was the love she put into it, maybe she left out an ingredient, I will never know, but now it was up to me to figure it out.

One of my favorite things about cooking now for the holidays is I get to take all these traditional foods that grandma once made and put a nice modern twist on it. Her chicken liver that made all the kids cringe, now we make it vegetarian and it’s gone within seconds, the potatoes that were smothered in mushrooms and onions, now are plain and simple. The brisket that she made, you know the one that sat in the oven all day, now is made in a crock pot. I still cook with the love, but with a modern twist, easy, simple, throw together in the morning and come home from temple and serve.


  • 3 pounds of brisket
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 5 stalks of celery chopped (plus leaves if you have some)
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup stock (I used chicken)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • A handful of fresh cut herbs (I used parsley and tarragon)


  1. Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle all sides of your brisket with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Add brisket to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When brisket is browned, add to crock pot.
  2. In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
  3. Meanwhile in measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
  4. When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
  5. Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over brisket, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
  6. When done, take out meat, let cool for 5 minutes or until easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.

I like to serve the brisket on a large plate with a little gravy and all the vegetables surrounding the cut up brisket. I put the rest of the gravy in a serving bowl or serving container so my guests can enjoy some extra gravy on the side.

Note on brisket: this dish can also be frozen if you wanted to prepare ahead. I would recommend using one of those throw away tins (which makes for easy clean up). Place meat into tin, pour over sauce and when cool freeze. The morning of your dinner, take out to thaw and heat up in the oven till warm.

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