How to Make Classic Holiday Brisket

Because it's not a holiday without slow-cooked brisket.

Slow cooked holiday brisket is as classic as it comes for American Jews. It’s not a holiday unless there is brisket, right? While brisket may seem daunting, it’s actually one of the easiest cuts of meat to cook: low and slow. We prefer using a second cut brisket which has more fat in it, as it yields a more tender and moist piece of meat. But some people prefer a first cut of brisket, a leaner cut of beef. If you don’t like paprika and oregano, add spices that suit your taste (or just salt and pepper are fine too). Remember to cook with plenty of liquid – you can combine stock, water, wine, soda, juice, ketchup in any flavor combination you prefer.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
classic holiday brisket

Classic Holiday Brisket

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

This Jewish American staple is a favorite at every Holiday.

  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 23 lb brisket, preferably second cut
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 can of cola or root beer
  • 1 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 12 cups water (liquid should just cover the brisket when cooking)


  1. Combine paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over brisket, covering both sides.
  2. Heat a few Tbsp olive oil in a large, deep pan such a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear brisket on both sides until deep brown and caramelized. Remove brisket from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then add garlic. Cook another 3-5 minutes, until very soft.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add wine, cola, canned tomatoes and 1-2 cups water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Place brisket back into liquid and reduce heat to low-medium (or place into an oven preheated to 300 degrees).
  6. Cook for 3-4 hours, until brisket is tender. Allow to cool.
  7. Remove brisket from liquid. Either slice the brisket using a sharp knife against the grain or, using two forks, shred brisket.
  8. Meanwhile, take the cooking liquid and place into a blender or food processor. You can also use an immersion blender. Blend until sauce is smooth and sweet.
  9. Place brisket back into liquid and reheat for serving, or place into fridge for up to 2 days.
  10. Serve on top of latkes, on top of burgers, as sliders or sandwiches or in taco shells if desired.
  • Author: Shannon Sarna
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4.5 hours
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Slow Cook
  • Cuisine: Holiday


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Keep on Noshing

VIDEO: How to Make Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage is one of the most quintessential Ashkenazi Jewish dishes.

Chocolate Cranberry Challah Rolls with Citrus Sugar

Simple, sophisticated and just a little fancy.

VIDEO: Brisket Four Ways

Everyone gets excited when brisket is served. But sometimes you don't want to wait until the holidays to enjoy this beloved dish.